Every day I meet new folks. What this means is several times a day, I listen to someone’s life story (in abbreviated form) and I reciprocate.
In short, we are giving each other our own personal elevator pitches.
Lately, I’ve noticed people who are seemingly unaware of how "their story" is playing with me, or others that I’m meeting with. Sometimes 20% or more of the time is spent listening to background.
I think everyone needs to practice their elevator pitch. Have several versions – the short one (30 seconds or less,) a one or two minute version and then the long version. Most importantly, err on the side of the shorter version and let a person ask you questions about what interests them.
I keep hearing "to make a long story short" and then 5-10 minutes later the person is done. That is actually making a really really long story still long, in my opinion.
It’s not that I don’t want to get to know people, rather, a short summary is just as effective and we can explore what interests us most as the conversation naturally takes us. Plus you don’t risk losing my attention (or others who are there) which really isn’t an exciting way to start a relationship.
I’m going to take my own advice here, too. So if any of you catch me not heeding it, call me out.