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Circle Time

Of course, we have the most dreadful rehearsal just days before our first improvisational show, and, recognizing the need to boost our confidence, our facilitator institutes circle time.

I’m not kidding.

She sits us in a circle.

And one at a time

We turn to the person on our right

And tell them one thing we admire about them

And one specific thing they’ve done that impresses us.

I find it eye-opening that

No one has any trouble at all

Naming another person’s strength,

Yet everyone is surprised

To hear their strength spoken out loud.

Now, in full disclosure,

Aside from this story I’m telling you right now,

I remember practically nothing

About that improvisational troupe.

I know we did at least one show,

But I couldn’t tell you where.

I don’t remember being on stage.

Or who else was in the troupe.

Or who our leader was.

I don’t even recall the name of the person who was sitting to my left that particular day.

But I will never forget what that person said about me.

They said “Andy is great at playing regal characters.”

They meant I was good at playing princes and kings.

And the funny thing is,

I had been actively trying to avoid playing those kinds of characters.

It felt too easy.

Like a cop out.

I wanted to be more rounded.

And so many people feel that way about business networking.

They don’t want to be defined too narrowly.

But being reminded that I was good at playing regal characters

Gave me permission to embrace them.

To regain my confidence in that strength

A crucial strength in an improvisational troupe named

Myths and Legends.

Regal characters.

Looking back I find it hard to believe

That I was resisting playing

The very characters

That are crucial to both

Myths and legends.

Princes and kings.

And time and again

I find that people face a similar challenge with their Elevator Pitch.

What they’re good at,

The very soul of their expertise

Sounds too simple to them.

So they go out looking for more.

Moving their Elevator Pitch

Away from who they are

In a desperate attempt

To be someone they’re not.

It’s no wonder people find business networking so frustrating.

Because what you do is so obvious to you

It’s so ingrained in who you are

That it’s hard to describe it simply to other people.

But do you know who knows what you do?


Your customers.

It’s obvious to them

Why they signed up with you.

So ask them

Why they signed up with you.

It’s eye-opening.

And it’s the start of a

Great Elevator Pitch.

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