The Values of Being First


The Values of Being First

I was in a room full of 45 people and the leader suggested that we introduce ourselves. She said, “Limit it to 2 minutes or less.” Was she kidding? Even if those people really respected the two-minute rule, that meant 90 minutes of listening to names, ranks and why I’m the best at what I do. And yet we all want to tell everyone in the room who we are and why we’re there.

I personally love to be the first to speak. That way, I can really listen to everyone else because I’m not preparing my two minutes over and over in my head. And I TELL everyone I like to go first. In fact I always try to sit in the seat that might give me that opportunity. I’m already prepared. I prepared in the car before I even got there. When I tell everyone the reason why I like to go first, they all stop their own in-their-head preparation for a second to laugh, because they knew they were already doing it. And guess what?! They remember me. They might not remember my name. They might not remember what I do. But they remember they saw their own behavior. And they connect it to ME! They remember ME. That’s the purpose of the two-minute introductions.

And by the way. It was never called the elevator speech. It was designed for SALES people and the original person who named it called it the elevator PITCH. The shortest way to tell a prospective buyer about what they had to sell. Some HR genius changed it to the elevator SPEECH and we’ve been shackled to that stupid concept ever since. So next time, either be first OR tell them something they will connect to YOU even if it isn’t about your name or what you do. And finally, don’t be remembered as the one who went over two minutes.

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