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Try Screencasting Free with Jing

Have you ever tried to explain to someone in an email or on the phone how to do something on the computer?  You can take screenshots and that helps, but sometimes people need to see how you do things.

Try screencasting free with Jing, an easy tool to create brief tutorial content or to give feedback.  With Jing you can share images and short videos of what you do on your computer.

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Elevator Speech Alternative

Does anybody really like giving an elevator speech?  They are cumbersome to memorize. They don’t sound conversational. They make me want to puke!  I don’t like giving or receiving them.

Because people don’t like giving an elevator speech in one-on-one conversation, all too often, they go to the other extreme. When asked the question “What do you do?” they answer with a boring description of their job title.  Yawn.

Would you like an elevator speech alternative, a short, benefit-focused statement that leaves your conversation partner leaning forward, asking for more?

Try a bumper sticker statement!  A bumper sticker statement is one sentence that briefly states what you do and what benefit you bring.

The Bumper Sticker - An Elevator Speech Alternative

Bumper Sticker Statement Definition


Here’s a bumper sticker statement I might use:

Bumper Sticker Statement long example


If I want something shorter and more intriguing, I might use a tag line alternative:

Bumper Sticker statement tag line

The video (3:46) explains how to craft your bumper sticker!

Try Your Elevator Speech Alternative: The Bumper Sticker!


If you are in a formal networking situation, in which people have 45-60 seconds to give an elevator speech in a group setting, you can expand on your bumper sticker (this is also useful to use in conversation, if the person asks for more details).  I’ve called whomever you do work for your “customer.”  Even if you aren’t in sales you can consider your work as benefiting a “customer.”:

I help:  _______________________________________________ (your “customer”)

with _________________________________________________ (problem you solve, benefit-focused)

When they work with me they  _______________________________ (how do you make your “customer’s” life better?

This results in:  __________________________________________ (positive outcomes)

Your Name

Your Company

Your Tagline

If you are talking with someone one-on-one, this format, which is fine for a short “commercial” at a networking event, will sound stilted.  Better to ditch the pitch and just use the elevator speech alternative, the “bumper sticker” in conversation!

To learn more about networking and small talk, get my book, Small Talk Big Results: Chit Chat Your Way to Success!

Small Talk Big Results Book

Get the Small Talk Networking Book!


Don’t Be a Conversation Vampire

Conversation Vampire

A conversational vampire is someone who sucks the life out of a conversation, usually with no ill-intent, in typically one of 3 ways:

  • talking too much and not letting others participate
  • talking too little and forcing others to carry the conversation
  • talking about things that are not interesting to others

There is one simple way to address all three issues:  be a mind reader!

OK. I suppose that’s not realistic.

But, if you knew what the other person was thinking and feeling, you could adjust your conversation.

You can be a “mind reader” through asking questions, listening for responses and observing body language and facial expressions.

As you are conversing, test how talkative the other person wants to be by asking questions to encourage them to talk.  Some people actually do prefer that others talk more and these types of people will sometimes have shorter responses and turn the conversation back to you by asking you a question. Short responses, without a reciprocal question, can mean that a person wants to exit the conversation. Others enjoy having listeners and will go on and on without much prompting.  You test the conversational waters to find a balance for the particular person you are talking with.

To avoid being boring by talking about things that people aren’t interested in, try to  gauge  interest by giving some context for the topic, and asking a question to find out what the other person’s experience is with that topic.  It is helpful to have some “go-to” topics that most people are likely to be interested in.  My go-to general topics are health & fitness, recent movies, and children/grandchildren.  If I’m at an event, I will have event or industry-specific topics, too.

Body language and facial expressions can tell you a lot about interest.  When a person makes lots of eye contact, nods in agreement and leans forward, he or she is intensely interested.  Looking away, pointing feet away, repetitive body motions (such as tapping fingers), or yawning, in addition to short answers all indicate disinterest.

Pay attention to your conversation partner and don’t be a conversation vampire!

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