Monday, February 4, 2008

My Genealogy "Elevator Speech"

The marketing types say that you should have a 15 to 30 second "elevator speech" prepared to deliver the minute someone says "What do you do?" in an elevator or other closed environment. The theory is that this short presentation may result in sales for yourself or your company.

How do you answer the question, "What do you do?" Here's my answer:

"I do genealogy and family history research. I go to libraries and surf the Internet to find information. I attend genealogy society meetings, and write genealogy articles. I'm a retired aerospace engineer, and I do this full-time. I don't take paying clients, but I enjoy helping others with their search.

"In the process, I learn a lot about history and interesting places. I enjoy meeting cousins and researchers and sharing data. I feel like I honor the lives of my ancestors by telling their stories. I really enjoy the inteelectual challenge of being a detective searching for my roots. I have a lot of fun."

What do you think? Too long? Too much information? It's about 30 seconds - I can't memorize any more than that! Does it give you some idea of my work and my life? Does it lead a person to ask more questions?

A more extended discussion might go into more detail about researching, repositories, society work, speaking, writing, etc. It might lead to the inevitable questions like "How far back have you gone?" and "Are you related to anyone famous?" Heh heh. Like an insect caught in a spider's web! I always tell people "I can bore you for hours if you let me."

Do you have an "elevator speech?" If not, should you? Try to write one, and tell us about it (either on your own blog or in Comments below).

If you already have one, tell us if it has helped you focus your genealogy efforts. Has it gained you clients or new friends?


Terry Thornton said...

Randy, We both might change our name to "Dave" and proclaim "Hey, I'm Dave and I'm one of the Kings of Genea-Blogging." LOL!

Seriously, I think the "elevator speech" notion is good --- and I think your speech answers fully the question "What do you do?"

Now you've got me to thinking about what I'd say. So let me go and try my hand at writing an elevator speech.

Donna said...


In my full-time life, I am saddled with the title of "Chief of the Strategic Material Sourcing Group". Yeah, just TRY explaining that in less than a half hour (can you tell I work for the government?). It's MUCH easier to say, "Well, after I get home from work, I'm a writer and I also blog about my genealogical research (and Gene Kelly)!"

I do like your elevator speech though - good job!

What's Past is Prologue