Know your story!
Listening to a Bridesmaid or Best Man speech, can simply be painful. Have a quick glance around the room the next time you hear one. You may notice hair graying spontaneously in mute testament to the discomfort. Right alongside that ear numbing elocution, battling for the bottom of the barrel is the Elevator Speech. Those awkward few moments when a salesperson becomes a data dump in an attempt to explain their job or product to a potential client, or a new acquaintance (highly unlikely to ever become a client after enduring that dread couple of minutes). The Elevator Speech is DEAD, let it stay that way.
That does not mean when you have those initial moments of opportunity to simply remain quiet or stumble and stammer your way through a couple of awkwardly phrased sentences, quite to the contrary. Grab those minutes in the elevator, cocktail party, office or wherever the occasion allows and take full advantage. Be a master storyteller of, your story!
Your story is the key. Keep it real, keep it simple, honest, fun, engaging and brief.
Here are a couple of tips that might help you become a master storyteller;
1. Be the expert - Know and understand your product inside and out. No excuses here, learn it all and take no shortcuts to get there. Roll up your sleeves and teach yourself everything there is to know about your product(s).
2. Know your company - In a similar manner of knowing your product, inside out. When it started, why it started and why you enjoy working there.
3. You do You - Make this your few moments, be real, speak the way you speak not the way you have heard others speak. There is only one you, and you are far more impressive and far less annoying than a poor imitation of someone else.
4. Blend in some anecdotes - Have fun with it. Yes, the facts are critical, but don't simply regurgitate them. If you have an entertaining story to add..."the guy that was pushed out the window of the Al Capone suite (not so much fun for him, but entertaining to us 90 years later) or the Ghost that wanders the hallways from time to time, add it. Give your story character to help engage your buyer.
5. Enjoy your own story - Smile and have fun telling it. Happiness and enthusiasm are infectious.
6. Do Not Bullshit - The last of the great bullshitters retired a long time ago. Don't go there.
7. Practice - This is one of, if not the most important item on this list. Write your story down, then re-write it and write it again, until you think it's perfect, then you can edit it and re-write it from there. Now practice it, like you were headed to Carnegie Hall. Say it to yourself, tell it to a friend, tell it to the mirror. Tell your story a thousand times, then tell it a thousand times more. Become so familiar with it, it becomes part of you, and you can deliver it with the same ease as you take a breath. When you've done that, you will be able to tell it naturally and confidently, as a Master Storyteller.