Saturday, November 10, 2007

One-Minute Elevator Speech

Hey Dr. Macy:
How are you?
Loving this cool weather. Isn’t it great?

Hey, Um, I was wondering, um if you had some time this week to um talk with me about um potential PhD programs. I have ah done some preliminary investigation, but I am concerned about my providing an impressive application, I am concerned about this…ah because of the competition. Also, I had a few um questions about direction and emphasis and um and so on. And research experience for applications…do I need more? Do you think you might have some time this week that we could get together and talk about this? What works best for you schedule wise?



I um, had to laugh, um when I read this, um!! Yikes!

The approach to this elevator speech was informal. After I taped and listened to the tape back, I was surprised by all of the “ums”, “ahs,” and fragmented ideas and sentences. The information I tried to provide my instructor with in a one-minute, unrehearsed blurb was relevant and perhaps complete by indicating I wanted to meet with him. It was accurate because it was a request for discussion about a topic of which I am unsure about, namely the best way to present requirements that I need to apply to the PhD program here and elsewhere. It was timely in that I gave him a time frame from which we could plan a meeting.

I don’t think I did a very good job of establishing credibility. I think my speech demonstrated that I have not done much public speaking or presenting or talking lately so I have not been verbally articulate and concise; however, how would my advisor know that? I think this example demonstrates that these are speech habits
that I can change. I think if I had prepared more for the speech, if I had known exactly what I wanted to say, and if I had practiced, my one-minute speech would turn out more professional and credible. This exercise provides you with a means to help prepare a better speech by implementing some of the ideas in our readings such as know what you want to say, prepare, practice, and practice some more.

I think the speech pattern demonstrates some of the information found in the Geddes article. While my intention for using the ums and ahs may simply have been as space holders as I thought about what I wanted to say, I may come across as someone who is unsure of what they are saying but in a non-credible way, such as what Geddes calls a stereotype of female communication. Also the fact that I state, I am unsure, may not have been the most positive way to state this request for info along with inflecting a question mark at the end of every comment, another observation by Geddes. Instead I could have stated, I have a few areas of interest that I would like to discuss with you. This sounds confident and more credible because it sounds as though I have already done some of the work required for such a meeting and I am not stating my request as a question. I think recording yourself a you speak is a valuable tool, one I have not tried before and will try again. This was a good section of the class.

When I did the one-minute listening exercise, I found myself looking and responding to my co-workers body language. If she seemed uncomfortable, I tried to take a supportive stance. I did not stare in her eyes, but I looked and watched for eye contact so I knew it was OK to make. I found myself scratching my head as I was listening, I think only to help me concentrate, and shaking my legs because I had too much coffee, which may have been distracting to her because she kept looking at them as she talked.

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