Terri L. Sjodin is a speech geek. Her
experience on her speech and debate teams in high school and college laid the
groundwork for her 2011 book, "Small Message, Big Impact: How to put the power of the
elevator speech effect to work for you."
Persuasive and instructional, Ms. Sjodin nails it.
(Disclaimer #1: I was given an advance copy to review. Disclaimer # 2: I got
into reviewing business books quite accidentally-I entered my
name in a call out on Twitter to review a then forthcoming book by Tony Hsieh who leads one of my favorite
online retail businesses; Zappos. It was a great experience. I have since
been offered the opportunity to review other critical new business books, and
have accepted the challenge for three reasons: (1) I believe that my reviews
can be of some help to my readers in sorting through the pile of biz books
being published daily (2) I believe lawyers who want to connect with their
clients need to read books written by CEO's, and others who are actually in
business, and (3) reviewing books has forced me to read them! I am intrigued by
the vast knowledge being transferred, for the small cost of a book, and now
consume them voraciously-I used to buy business books, flip through them,
retrieve a nugget and then put them on the shelf for another day. Thus, you
will find a category on the VMO devoted to business book reviews.)
"Quite frankly, I have never entered an office that had a bright flashing
neon sign proclaiming: Open to vendors and solicitors. Come on in!"
No matter if you're in direct sales or developing new business for your law
practice via relationships, it takes time and creativity to get through the
door, says Sjodin. Enter, the advanced Elevator Speech.
"It is the short conversational message you share with the dream client in
the middle of a busy airport-or the elevator." Ms. Sjodin proposes that the
compelling and carefully crafted elevator speech has the power to bridge the
gap between nice ideas in theory and concrete results. Handled properly, the
elevator speech can evolve from a simple thirty-second commercial to a true
Sound interesting? Sure, I think so. But, how do we do that?
Most seasoned rainmakers know their 30-second brand statement or value
proposition; they've done it a million times in the cocktail circuit (and
created an awesome Twitter bio in just 160 characters from it). Still, Ms.
Sjodin proposes that today's elevator speech has several characteristics that
should not be overlooked:
Lush with plenty of real life stories and examples, "Small Message, Big
Impact" is a convincing read. It takes readers to the place where they can
explore their own message, formulate it, structure it appropriately, and deploy
it in practice. There are tips on refining and engaging: This is NOT your
father's elevator speech.
Sjodin explains the nuances of transition, body language, tone, and more.
She has advice on dressing the part, fear, and earning the right to be heard.
The best part about the book is that you never think you're getting advice from
someone who has not been in the trenches. She's been there. And it is that
perspective that I think makes this book most valuable-do as I say and as I do!
The book is not only helpful for those serendipitous moments when you meet
up with a prospect in the airport, fundraising event or ...the elevator. It
teaches you how to manage multiple talking points and to communicate
more complex ideas as well: There is counsel and guidance for anyone
who presents to the public; speeches, presentations and other performances.
And, it is padded with practical exercises in a friendly format.
I speak to public groups and law firms
often. This book has given me a new way of looking at my messages, how best
to deliver them to varied audiences, communicate complex ideas and ultimately
has helped me shift my otherwise predictable 30-second elevator speech into a
more productive tool for reaching and intriguing listeners.
Published by Greenleaf Book Group Press, Small Message, Big Impact by Terri
L. Sjodin is a slam-dunk, no brainer for lawyers who want to improve their
chances of being heard by those who engage them. Available June 1, 2011.
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