Perfecting your Elevator Pitch: The 6 Word Intro
Alright I would like to bring Johnny back up to tell you guys about your elevator pitch. Alright, Johnny. (audience applauds)
Alright. How many of you guys have a hard time selling yourselves when you're at events or looking for clients? A lot of hands going up. I know that that's a very difficult thing to do and if you're going to spend all this time to develop an elevator pitch you want to make sure that you're able to sell yourself after that. A.J. had made mention that it's so much better to have your clients to that for you but what if you're just starting out? What if you don't have those clients crowing your name and bringing people to the table? You're going to have to start somewhere. How many of you guys are familiar with the Dunning-Kruger Effect? Well the Dunning-Kruger Effect is a phenomena that's been tested over and over again with demonstrable results. What it states is basically that people who have a lower IQ tend to rate themselves on abilities that they don't know...
about very highly. They like to beat their chest, they like to crow a lot about what they don't know about, and they always find themselves in trouble. Where people in the higher end of the bell curve tend to rate themselves on abilities that they don't know about much lower. They don't want to beat their chest. They don't want to bring attention to themselves. They don't want to find themselves in a position to be criticized. That's completely understandable. Where do you think people who are looking to gain new skills and better themselves tend to be on that bell curve of intelligence? (audience speaking)
[Male Audience Member] On the top end.
Absolutely, on the top end. Well we are definitely on the higher end of that the thing about that is that we know what we don't know, we want to get better, we are taking opportunities to better ourselves, and looking in multiple places to do that. So it is hard for us to crow about ourselves and to sell ourselves when we are trying to build these client bases and sell ourselves. As I said if we're going to spend all this time developing this elevator pitch, we want to make sure that we are able to follow it up with something. I'm going to give you a little story about a friend named Howard who I really look up to and who inspired me a lot when it comes to selling himself and what he was able to do. In the late 70s, Howard worked for a publicist company in the late 70s that handled a lot of rock and roll acts. Howard was a very intelligent guy, liked to fancy himself as a scientist but ended up helping a publicist just through being in New York and making some connections and being quick on his feet. Because Howard really championed himself as an intelligent guy, he always looked for certain challenges. One day Howard's boss had come into the office and he asked Howard "hey have you got done all the tasks that I asked, have you finished what you needed to do?" Howard was smirking. "Yeah it's already finished." He had done over what the boss had asked for and he was standing smug like I'm the best, I've got this handled. His boss, just to rib Howard a bit, said "Howard you think you're so smart don't you?" Howard is like "yeah, absolutely." He's like "well if you're so smart why are you working for a shmuck like me?" And he walked out of the room. At that point Howard was like "ugh, dammit, he's got me. I do think I'm so smart and now I'm in a position to challenge myself to branch out and go out on my own." Now obviously if Howard was to go off on his own, start his own publicist company he's going to need to begin to start getting clients. If you were a young up and coming artist, would you want to sell yourself through an unproven talent or the big machine that has already been able to push a ton of artists to the top of those charts.
[Male Audience Member] Machine.
Absolutely you want to do to the machine. However there is a certain charm with being with a small company where your main focus is you rather than the big machine where you might get lost in the shuffle as well so that's very important to think about. Howard understood that and wanted to make sure, of anyone that he grabbed that they knew that he would go out of his way to make sure that they were top priority and he was going to do everything he could to help that act. Howard knew that if he was going to start this he had to go find clients. It was difficult because Howard was an extremely bright guy but when it came to selling himself, when it came to putting himself out there, he always got extremely nervous and started to realize just how introverted he actually was. So Howard had to figure out a way around this. How was he going to sell himself? How was he going to learn these new skills that he hasn't had an opportunity to develop especially being an introverted child and introverted for most of his adult life. Seeing that challenge obviously allowed Howard to know there is something here to learn and skills to be had and I'm going to figure out a way to do it. So one of the things that Howard wanted to do first was how do I bring attention to myself so people will notice me in the room? So one of the things that Howard did was he had a shirt made that had his whole name on it and he had multiple of them made so that no matter where he went people would see his shirt and if they were to talk to him like, "Howard, what's up with your name, why is it on your shirt?" He wore it as his superhero outfit. It was kind of his thing. That would get him at least some attention and now an opportunity, an open window, for him to be able to sell himself. So what Howard decided to do because when he had those moments, he shut down, he didn't know where to begin, he didn't know how to do it. He figured something is better than nothing. So what Howard did was he started to keep a journal where he would write down things that were happening in his life for the next, anything he was excited about, anything he had going on, he would write it in his journal so it would always be on the top of his mind. So at any given time that he would be asked what he was working on or what he was about, he was able to blurt out a bunch of things because he had been writing them. This started to allow Howard to grab one client through, and just hearing his excitement about what he had going on in his life, they figured if I could be part of that excitement, I know that he is going to do a lot of work. He already had a resume working for this publicist, but once again, are you going to want to go with the machine or the guy who kind of went off on his own and is kind of a wild card. When people saw that excitement, they signed on. He got one client, he got another client, and as A.J. said the best advertising you can have is by other excited clients who are selling yourself. So after three, four, five, they started coming in and if you want to know who Howard is, you can Wikipedia the name Howard Bloom and you can see that in the 80s, he ran the biggest publicist company in New York City. His clients were Michael Jackson, Prince, ACDC, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Marley, Madonna. He had them all and he had put them all at the top of their game. He was even the guy who found Prince who was yet then, still an R&B artist, who was going through, in those circles, who was well known in those circles, but outside no one knew who Prince was. He saw that talent in Prince. He was also the guy who managed to have Prince take his R&B background and funk background and put a bit of an alternative spin on it to where he would be opened up to a more mass market. We all know how that went. I'm sure everyone here has heard When Doves Cry. I want you to think about finding those things that you're excited about, keeping them written down so that when you have those opportunities you are quick to share those with people. As A.J. mentioned earlier about how important sharing is and being vulnerable and showing that excitement, it gets others excited about what you're doing and when they're excited about what you're doing they want to be a part of that, and that's your easiest way to get in a door and start grabbing those clients and start selling yourself. So with that I'm going to bring Jordan up who's going to help perfect that elevator pitch so you do have that window.
This is the Six Word Introduction Formula. This is from a friend of mine named Clay Hebert. This guy is sharp as a tack. This is about how to confidently introduce yourself or your business for that matter in six words or less. This is important because if you think about all the things you do everyday. You've got shower, brush your teeth, get dressed, walk around, introduce yourselves, many of us don't do all these things correctly. You know who you are. Most of us though, most of them pretty well, 90 percent, 80 percent, but we don't introduce ourselves very well and that seems to be a general phenomenon among pretty much everyone, myself included. I had never even thought about the way I introduce myself or the way that I introduce Art of Charm. I had never really thought about elevator pitches until somebody kind of hammered it home. It was actually my wife, she was like "hey when people ask you what you do it either takes like 10 minutes or you answer in one sentence and they're just like what that doesn't make any sense, and we go on with the conversation, you're missing an opportunity here." I thought yeah for somebody who is teaching classes with these guys, I probably better have my stuff together. One study says that we meet on average three people per day. That's a thousand plus people year, that's 80,000 plus people in a lifetime, so that's quite a few people to screw up an introduction for yourself. And there's one question of course, that we get asked thousands and thousands of times. What do you do? What do you do? If you don't have a great answer for that question, you're in trouble. Is it strong? Is it intriguing? Is it confident? A lot of us think like "yeah I'm a teacher so I'm off the hook on this one." A couple of myths about introductions here that I want to go over real quick. That the introduction is about you, it's actually not. It's about who you help. The introduction is about who you help and why you help them. It is not about you. Myth number two, your intro should be 100 percent complete. Completeness is for resumes. It should be interesting, not complete. Interesting is much more important than complete. Myth number three, similar to myth number two, your intro should be accurate. That is a myth. Our desire to be accurate forces us to use boring words that end conversations instead of begin conversations. Most people will answer with "I'm a doctor, I'm a teacher, I'm a dentist, I'm a podcast host." These do not start conversations. These end conversations. That's the answer, it's over and done with. You might prompt some more questions but if you're saying that you're a dentist, eh, I kind of get what you maybe do, I fill in the blanks in my head and I lose interest immediately. So we have the Six Word Introduction Formula. This is the base formula, I, you're the one introducing yourself generally so you will use I. There are exceptions but I don't feel like I need to explain what those exceptions might be. Two, help or some form of the word help. This is important as well. You actually don't have to write this down because I believe this is in here. Yes it certainly is. You can write it down if you like. If you think it's more complete, page 60 you can fill in the blanks there. Three, who it is you help, your clients, your customers, who they are, what they do, what they're looking for. Achieve a result. What you help them to do. What you help them to achieve. What you help them become in the case of AOC. So on page 60, you will see the Six Word Introduction. I will leave this up for just another second. Growing your network, Six Word Introduction. Don't use industry jargon on this. I even put that at the top of the worksheet because industry jargon is toxic. Well you know, I choose IT level base executives in the C suite and we help them with their deployment of SAAS. Great, I don't, if I'm not in that industry then you lost me at deploy. A lot of us do this because we're like "oh I have to sound smart, I have to sound sharp, I want to be specific, I want to be complete and accurate" and instead you just go, whatever he does something with like computers maybe, done. Not helpful. If I'm telling you what I do, I want you to be able to tell him and him and him what I do. That's useful to me. That's useful to me because you can tell them what I'm looking for, if I'm looking for a job they know what I'm looking to do. If I'm looking for clients you can tell them what I do. If I lose you with jargon immediately you're not going to be able to play telephone so I can't get any referrals off that description. I can't get any reputation off that description, except in a very narrow niche where in a magical world where everybody knows what those words mean and what they are and what they do. We want to get rid of all jargon and simplify this to the absolute maximum. The absolute maximum. So I'm going to put some people on the spot in a second actually as well because I want to make darn sure that you are following this. Who, is there any volunteer because it's always better to take a volunteer than to choose someone, but I will choose someone if I have to. Alright, Fascil. Take the top box. Remember I, because you're the one introducing yourself, help or some form of the word help, who it is you help, and what you help them achieve or do.
I host events to help connect entrepreneurs and marketers.
Great, I love that, that's really simple. Everybody knows that, I'll explain the reason why this is good. I produce events, there's no jargon there, everyone knows what an event is. To help connect entrepreneurs and marketers. I think everybody knows who those people are. You could even say entrepreneurs but I think marketers might be a little bit specific enough to make sense but not so specific that people don't know. It starts getting down the rabbit hole if you say, "well software based digital marketing" get rid of that. You did really well there. Exactly, that's what we're looking for. Does anybody else want to give it a stab? I will correct you if it's not really good, so don't worry that's what we are here for.
I help architectural firms design commercial projects.
Great so what I would do is simplify architectural firms down to architects not that people don't know what an architectural firm is but what is that building full of, that architectural firm? Architects, right, generally, and those are the people you help. Inside the firm. And what was the other one, commercial projects?
So commercial projects, I'm on the fence on this because commercial, you would just say projects because then they would think that you build houses when really you build commercial projects. So commercial projects, if there is a simpler way to say it it's not coming to my mind readily.
I know I have been struggling with that myself.
You've been struggling?
Yep, trying to figure it out.
So it's not so complicated that I couldn't remember it but I think everyone knows what a commercial project is but I would get rid of firms and just say architects. People who are architects are going to understand that you help firms.
[Male Audience Member] Perfect, thank you.
Anyone else? Yes, right behind you Rocco. Ding, perfect.
I help groups and teams unlock creative potential.
Can we, are groups and teams really different or does it just sound cooler when you say it?
I'm making a pivot in my business so I'm figuring out what my new audience is.
[Female Audience Member] So I help teams unlock creative potential.
I like that because teams is slightly more specific but it's also just kind of a euphemism in many ways for group because usually within a group there's some sort of cohesive vision. You can also just say group. I would almost say I like teams better because it sounds a little bit more like what a company would have as opposed to a group which this technically is but when we leave we are not really going to do a whole lot of projects together potentially. So I like teams better, but here's the problem. The last part I think was something along the lines of unlock their potential which really doesn't mean a darn thing does it. It doesn't mean anything. Not that I don't have an idea of what that might mean but I can't really say, "hey Byron, you know she could help you unlock your potential." "Great, my potential what?" "I don't really know, potential in general." what does it really mean? So I'm not going to necessarily put you on the spot here, I can if you want, but I really don't know what that means and my question would be do you actually know what that means and that's a question that might be tough to answer.
You don't have to know what it means right now though but I would do a lot of thinking on that subject and think okay so if you told me that and I said "okay potential what" you better have an answer for that because if I'm like "great I would love to unlock my team's ability to work together cohesively, I would love to help my team's ability to connect with other teams, I would love to help my team's ability to communicate" but you just said potential so maybe it's not a good fit. Meanwhile you're thinking, no that's really what I do, all those things, maybe, sometimes, depending on if the check clears. So you're going to want to make sure that you have that honed in and it's okay to tailor this to the audience as much as you want. If you're talking to somebody who runs an architectural firm you don't have to say architects, they're in the industry. These are for lay men and the reason again that this is important is because if you tell Eric this, he can tell Travis who can then tell me. I might be the architect but you can tell that to anyone and they will understand and they can play telephone and get you referrals and introduce you to the right people and that's what we were talking about earlier. If I'm making email introductions or physical introductions, I need to be able to say "oh yeah Rocco helps architects and you're an architect" boom, easy connect. But if I say, well I work with what was the thing before, SAAS whatever C suite, I have no idea what that is so then even if Travis says "yeah I'm a C level executive at Kodak," I'm like I don't know is that the same thing as software C suite, whatever, I just gave up already. I'm not listening. It has to be in layman's terms. The more jargon free the better. Jargon comes in many forms. Sometimes it's a bunch of fluff and I think that a lot of things like unlock your superpower sounds good in marketing but sounds terrible in elevator pitches and six word introductions. Does that make sense? Thanks for letting me pick on you. Do we have one more person who wants to get, oh wow, now everyone is like where do I get skewered. (audience laughing) <v A.J.>There are a bunch of them online too maybe we can share as well but we will take one more here first. Go ahead.
[Male Audience Member] So I help people recover faster and get out of pain.
Okay recover from alcoholism?
Good question. No, workouts or muscle fatigue.
Okay I totally knew that but I think some people might go wait recovery, I'm in recovery. My friend's in recovery. Okay recover from exercise?
Exercise, workout, beating themselves up.
Okay great. Everybody knows what workout, well some of us more than others, know what workouts are. I think if you say help people recover from workouts faster and the other part was?
[Male Audience Member] Get out of pain.
Get out of pain. That's solid because I think people understand what that is. I would specify maybe physical pain just in case someone is thinking more of a, I have emotional pain from being left alone in a supermarket. I don't know. You can specify that you're already going to be, I'm assuming, talking to athletes when you give this but remember we are talking with lay men so if my brother is the athlete and I'm slop the sloppy one, which may actually be the case in real life I'm not telling, then you want me to be able to refer that the other way around. You want me to be able to refer to you, he helps people recover from workouts faster, or get rid of or mitigate physical pain. Mitigate is another fancy term that you probably shouldn't use. That's really good. You had the first half and I would definitely even make it more specific. That's an interesting example because we ended up making it more specific but in a way that it's easier in my opinion, easier to understand. Does that make sense?
[Male Audience Member] Yeah, thank you. <v A.J.>We have some here maybe we can give them a quick tease here. So Lana posted, "I help people get their homes sold."
That's really good because I get it, you're a real estate agent, but I don't have to ask if you're a commercial real estate agent, I don't have to ask if you're a buyer's agent. I get it. You're going to help me sell my house. Boom, perfect.
Jen says "I help travelers learn how to take epic and safe road trips."
Epic and safe road trips? Yeah, I mean I like it. It's got a little bit of the hype with the epic in there but I also understand that a safe road trip sounds lame so you want to counter balance it so I feel like he's onto something right there. Yeah like help people take epic but safe road trips, or safe and epic road trips, I dig that. I could dig that. People know what that means.
We will get one more here from, just was mentioned a moment ago, Clay Hebert who is watching and says "I help entrepreneurs fund their dreams."
Terrible. Actually this is his content, so Clay basically invented, or slash non basically invented this and his, I can't I mean, it's an unassailable example there. Thanks, Clay. Thanks to Clay for this, you did a great job. This is his Six Word Introduction. Clay Hebert, it's spelled like he-bert if you want to write that down and search for his stuff online because he's got tons of stuff like this there's also more advanced version of this but we don't have time for right now that helps you get referral business and helps you grow deeper roots for your relationships. That will have to wait. It will be detailed in the bonus materials, theartofchart.com/creativelive. Thank you all, amazingly, so much for watching us and being with us here. Do you need to give another spiel because I feel like... <v A.J.>I don't need to give another spiel but let's bring all the guys up on stage here.
I would love for the guys to come on up here. (audience applauds)
We can give our own six word intros if you guys are interested. <v A.J.>Yeah we can get final six word intros from you guys and then contact info, how people can keep in touch with you after the fact, but yeah, go ahead.
So mine sounds, I used to say "I'm a podcast host or a talk show host" and people would ask radio or TV, what are you talking about? Now I keep it more simple than that. I ask brilliant people smart questions so they can teach their superpowers to the listening audience. Now people might not know what form that takes but it doesn't matter. It's going to cause them to ask a question that makes sense. If I'm talking with an audience of people who have never heard of a podcast, they have no idea how to find any of that, someone's grandma for example, I might say I'm a radio interviewer. They get it. You can plug it into something that they understand and that they know. If you're on YouTube and you're a YouTube fitness person and you're telling somebody who has no digital access whatsoever, you can say that you make movies about fitness. All that stuff is okay. I want to be clear here because I feel like the example should fit the audience.
Yeah I help introverts build confidence and social skills.
I was laughing so hard because you were talking about the whole jargon thing, did I use it? There is one scenario that I use jargon and it's when I want to get this person to quit talking. (laughing)
When I want to shut it down.
You don't want the follow up.
Yes I'll say that I'm a partner in a multimedia coaching company that helps with business and social networking and they go "oh that sounds great", done. (laughing)
You're really selling us there, Johnny. Thanks a lot. This is the close where you tell them where to find us.
That's the jargon filled one but for the six word is I help highly motivated people sharpen their networking skills.
So as you can see there is a double edge to this sword. You can shut it down by being overly complicated or you can just say consultant because that usually just shuts everything down. Consultant works every time. Of course before we forget there is our contact information up on this, our email address firstname.lastname@example.org if people have questions, wondering what we're doing here, twitter @theartofcharm and I use that and it will get to us directly if you want to message us. Also we have an AOC challenge where we have step by step networking challenges, we have little bits of social drills and exercises and you can text AOC to to sign up for that and of course the bonus materials and things like that for this class are at theArtofCharm.com/creativelive. That's with all the templates, all the email templates, a whole bunch of stuff is at theartofcharm.com/creativelive. Look, you guys now have all of the skills you need to be in the top one percent of networkers. I know it seems like what, after a day, this is decades of experience from all of us right now and these are topics that we have studied from other high performers that we conglomerated, mashed into this little mixing pot that has become this course, and this stuff is really important because you will meet people who have been in business for 30 years who aren't doing the outreach, the nonverbal communication, the follow up, it's just not something that most people put together especially when you put it together with the nonverbal communication that you guys learned today.
Yeah so go out there and be curious. Connect.
Absolutely, and don't worry about making mistakes. Mistakes are opportunities for you to get better, chipping away at that stone and learning more about yourself and working through that.