Recently, I searched through my library for tips on creating the perfect “elevator speech.” An elevator speech is a brief delivery of memorable facts about yourself. Typically, the elevator speech is given to someone you want to impress, but you rarely encounter them except for the occasional elevator ride.
Many of us have said or thought, “I got on the elevator with the chairman and didn’t know what to say. It was my big chance, and I blew it!” Or, “I was in a meeting and the head of another division asked me my name. I’ve been here for nearly five years, and this guy had no clue who I was. It was embarrassing!”
In her book BRAG!: The art of tooting your horn without blowing it, author Peggy Klaus gives the reader 12 questions to ponder as a means to identifying what they want others to remember and know about themselves:
What would you and others say are five of your personality pluses?
What are the 10 most interesting things you have done or that have happened to you?
What do you do for a living and how did you end up doing it?
What do you like/love about your current job/career?
How does your job/career use your skills and talents, and what projects are you working on right now that showcases them?
What career successes are you most proud of having accomplished (from current position and past jobs)?
What new skills have you learned in the past year?
What obstacles have you overcome to get where you are today, both professionally and personally, and what essential lessons have you learned from some of your mistakes?
What training/education have you completed, and what did you gain from those experiences?
What professional organizations are you associated with and in what ways — member, board, treasurer, or the like?
How do you spend your time outside of work, including hobbies, interests, sports, family, and volunteer activities?
In what ways are you making a difference in people’s lives?
As a career coach, I encourage you to answer the above questions to form your own memorable history. Remember, your combined personal and professional information acts as the foundation for your own bragging campaign.
Have a happy and prosperous 2014!
Tammy McIntyre is owner of McIntyre Employment Service, an agency providing individuals and small businesses with career development services. She welcomes reader responses to [email protected].