Great, you have a stump speech. Now, are you using it to your best advantage?Robert Priddy

It's essential for a physician seeking a nonclinical career to have a stump speech, but if you don't use it wisely, it may end your networking conversation, not start it.

Whenever I'm working with a client, regardless of their chosen career path, employment, entrepreneurial, or their industry, preparing a well-crafted 30-second stump speech (or elevator speech/pitch) is an essential networking element of their nonclinical career transition marketing package. 

The components are simple, Who I Am, What I've Done, What I Want to Do, and How You Can Help Me. Also be prepared as a follow up question to answer, How I Can Help You.

However, it's your delivery that makes of breaks the success of the conversation. Your Stump Speech is a conversation starter. While called a speech, it is really your Stump Dialogue. The dialogue goes like this. Once you reach "What I want to do," you shift the conversation to the person you're networking with. You say simply, "Tell me about you. What do you do...." then continue to mine their answers to find out how they can help you. If you use each component in succession, ending simply with "How you can help me," then you've at best limited how they can help you, and at worst, simply closed the door to any help. Don't expect people with whom you are networking to know or understand clearly how they may be of help to you. It is your responsibility to know what kind of help to request, and the only way you can determine what to ask for is by learning about them. 

As you ask them more and more questions about what they do, how they do it and why, you can begin to find those ares where your skills, that is, "How I can help you," match with their job, their organization or with complimentary organizations and people. Remember, the goal of networking is more networking. How they can help you is most often to introduce you to other people. Don't expect each networking contact to have a job for you, but do expect them to know people who will take you a step closer to your next job, or assignment. 

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