She said, Sam, there's no way that I can get across what I do in 10 minutes the our competitive edge and our patents that are pending and our team credentials and our exit strategy. I said, Kathleen, you don't have 10 minutes, you have 60 seconds.


And you want to know what I say? 

Please do.

I turn the elevator speech on its head? Because Diane Keaton said, when she was asked her most important lesson learned in the last 30 years, she said, it's not about you. It never was. And most elevator speeches are about us. Right? So let's flip that. George, what if instead of telling you what I do, which is a speech, a one way monologue lecture, what if I asked questions? 

What if I said, Do you know anyone could be yourself a friend or family member who wants to write a book? You know, and then I stopped talking George, because chances are you would say, oh, yeah, I've been working on a book for years, all my best friend is just, and then I listened to what you say. And then I link what I do to what you just said. Now, what happens is your eyebrows go up. Because if you Well, let's do this right now. So do you know anyone could be yourself a friend, a family member who's always wanted to write a book? Back to you?

Well, interesting. Yes. Certainly, myself. That's an ongoing, ongoing desire. But it's funny that you mentioned that because I know of an individual who's recently retired after 37 years in the industry, and he's dying to do something useful right now.

And then then what I'll do, George is I will come back and we'll go deeper into your friend, right? Because you just brought up your friend who just retired who's wanted to do this for decades. Do you see how rude it is? If I just yank the conversational carpet out from underneath you and say, Oh, well, that's what I do. I help people. You almost feel like it's a bait and switch, right? So see, once you say something that you're passionate about that's meaningful to you that you care about. I would ask another question, because I genuinely want to know what does he want to write about? Oh, does he have a working title as he started. So I'm going to do that right now I'm going to come back to you and ask a little bit more about your friend. And tell me a little bit more about the book that he wants to write?

Well, I think he's still in the early stage. I don't think he has a title yet. But he's developed. He's developed a retail organisation, and trains, train staff and build teams. So I think it would be more about the the team building and creating that staff that are that feel that they have the feel that they have responsibility and a commitment to that to the organisation because the organisation cares about them.


So So see, you're bringing up team and all these lessons learned about how to build a team, how not to build a team, etc. So see, I am genuinely curious and engaged, and I want to know more. And, and George, if you and I were actually at an event, you know, me, I would have my notebook handy. I would grab my pin, I would put a vertical line down the centre. 

And then I would start saying, okay, so what are some of the lessons learned about how to build a team? You know, what sabotage is a team, what supports a team, what compromises a team, what contributes to a team, I would be taking notes and see, just feel the difference. George, we're in a two way mutually rewarding conversation. I did not deliver a speech where you went, Oh, end of conversation, and now we're into small talk, and it feels stilted and awkward, and fake and false and so forth. We are genuinely having a meaningful conversation. And and at the end, even if like we get pulled away for the programme or something like that, you would say Sam, can I have those notes? I gotta give them to my friend, you know? Or you would say something like, well, what are his next steps? Or, well, how can he come up with a title or something? And at that point, I would say, Well, if you're interested, there's this upcoming masterclass or if you're interested, tell him to, to write down the 10 things he heard most while he was building teams. And maybe one of those is going to be the title. Do you see how we are having a genuine interaction? We are not, you know, telling people something we've scripted to death, that falls flat, and that feels false.

You're right, it does feel better. And, and I get the feeling and I will get the feeling that you're actually interested in, in me my issue, my friend, his challenge. So that means that I most likely would want to talk with you more. And it's the beginning of a relationship.

I asked why Jeff Bezos said The only danger is not to evolve. And I really think it's time to evolve the way we give these elevator speeches. Because whether it's at a PTA meeting or at a conference or a virtual zoom call, people are going to say what do you do? And most of us have been taught to tell people what we do. And once again, that's info obesity, not a good way to start a conversation. 

So can I give you one of my favourite examples about the shift that this does? You bet. Okay, I had the I had the privilege of speaking at Inc 500. So this is Jim Collins and Tim Ferriss, and Tom Peters Seth Godin, they were all there. And actually, this session on how to turn an elevator speech into an elevator question was the highest rank session. Now we had 500 of the top entrepreneurs in the country in the room. So we were brainstorming, strategizing this in the room. And so I asked Colleen, who is Entrepreneur of the Year for the state of Oklahoma. I said, So what do you do? And it was want want want want want wall? At the end of 30 seconds, no one in the room had any idea what she did George, and she was the CEO of the company. 

So I said, Can we play with that? And I said, What do you do that we can see? Or smell or taste or touch? Because see, we want to make this real life? Right? We want to ask a question that increases the likelihood people will have experienced it or benefited or tried it or bought it or at least can picture it right because now we've switched from something conceptual to something country. So she said, I run the medical centres that offer MRIs and CAT scans. I said, that's great. I said, don't tell people that. Don't tell people that. I said because if someone says what you do, and you say, I run the medical centres that offer MRIs and CAT scans, they go Oh, and that's the end of the conversation. And Georgia you and I just did we don't want In the conversation, we want to open the conversation. So turn it into a three part question. 

Do you know anyone? And now by the way, the reason these three part question is so important, because if I just say, Have you ever had an MRI or CAT scan? And you say no. In the conversation again, right? So when we give three options, we increase the likelihood that people, even if they've never done it themselves, they will know someone who has, and we still have a meaningful conversation. Right? Right. So if I said, you know, anyone could be yourself, someone in your neighbourhood or at work, who has had an MRI or CAT scan, and once again, I put a sock in it, because one of the goals of this is for me to stop talking after like, 10 seconds, so that we get this exchange instead of this lecture. And she may say, oh, yeah, my daughter hurt her knee playing soccer. S

he had an MRI. Oh, well, I run, you know, medical centres that offer MRIs, like the one your daughter had, when she hurt her knee playing soccer. Guess what happened? 

The eyebrows go, oh, they get what we do. 

They understand it, they relate to it. Now we can go on about his her daughter's need better, she plays soccer, etc. And we're off and running. And that's the whole point of an elevator question instead of an elevator speech is to launch this mutually meaningful conversation.


So do you know anyone? Do you know anyone who and then fill in the end of that question with with what your service or product provides without necessarily naming the product or service?

It can be? So George, let's talk about you. Let's do it in the in the in the virtual room right now. Right? Yes. Okay. So first, I would ask because see, we we don't script this, it really is tailored to the group. If I'm in a room of CEOs, I would say something different than if I was in the room of teachers or stay at home moms. Right. Right. Yeah, put me in the scene of a group, maybe a virtual meeting or something that you're going to be doing, and then we'll customise it in the spot to increase the likelihood people will relate to what you're saying. And we'll really warm up to it new. So what's the situation coming up where you're going to be giving an elevator introduction?

There's not that many these days. Normally, there would be something they see, let's have a meeting of what what's going to happen at some point is a group of local company leaders getting together for networking. Listening to a, you know, a luncheon speaker and sitting around a lunch table going oh, so what do you do?

What do you do?

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