Luck is where preparation and opportunity meet. You can create your own luck when you write an elevator story for these opportunities: The elevator meeting, the handshake and the lightning round.
Author Donna Griffit recommends writing an elevator story for multiple situations because you may not always have time to deliver your full elevator story. Griffit explains how she would pitch business ideas when you often have 30 seconds or less to make a memorable impression. The same approach is valuable preparation during your job search.
These situational stories are 1. The Full Elevator Story, 2. The Handshake Elevator Story and 3. The Lightning Round Elevator Story.
Write an elevator story with the PEEKSA formula
An elevator story outline will help you create multiple versions that you will remember when opportunity and preparation meet. Writing your Full Elevator story outline with the PEEKSA formula includes key elements represented in the letters of PEEKSA.
Your Full Elevator Story will include your Passion, Experience, Education, Knowledge and Skills. The last step is Ask for help. Your full story should be 30-60 seconds at the most. Ideally, tell your story in 30 seconds and allow 30 seconds for questions or conversation.
Here is an example:
“I am Passionate about creating efficiency and eliminating manual redundant tasks. Educated as an engineer, I am Experienced working with robotic process automation and am Knowledgeable in Six Sigma best practices. My most valuable Skill is the ability to save organizations time and money by streamlining processes and eliminating those manual tasks. I’m looking for work in process improvement and automation, do you know anyone who might be interested in talking with me about opportunities in their organization?”.
Write An Elevator Story For The Handshake Opportunity
Be prepared to make the most out of a brief introduction when working the room at a networking event. The Handshake Elevator Story is a shorter version of your Full story. After writing the full version, you will already have written the points to use in the brief introduction. There is no need to be redundant in your efforts.
Take a few of the points from the full version that will be most memorable. The Handshake version might be, “Hi my name is Jim Ryan, I am a consultant and my specialty is improving margins for my clients through process automation. Tell me about yourself.”
Our friend Jim Ryan quickly explains what he does and then asks about the other person. This tactic opens the opportunity for more conversation in which Jim will use the last step of PEEKSA by asking for referrals.
Write An Elevator Story For The Lightning Round
The point is that this story needs to have quick impact.
I had placed a recent college graduate in a job with one of my consulting clients when one of my client’s senior executives asked the young man “How are you making a difference?”
Lightning Round responses prepare you chance meetings with executives when you arrive for a job interview. Be prepared with multiple lightning round elevator stories that give bottom line results like this, “I’ve improved sales by $200 million per year for my last employer and I’d like to do the same for you.”
Create your own luck by writing an elevator story for each of these circumstances. Write stories of different lengths for varied audiences and practice by reading them aloud. Plan ahead when networking and be ready with elevator stories for every opportunity.