Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Elevator Speech (for Management)

I gave an elevator speech aimed at showing my qualifications for a part-time media specialist permission at a nearby elementary school that serves as a magnet school with an IB-Primary Years Programme. I spoke to one of my library school friends, who is also interested in school libraries and had her provide feedback. Here's the written text of the speech that I prepared beforehand:

"I think I would be an excellent match for the part-time media specialist position at Covington Farms (name changed)Elementary. I have a great deal of experience working with elementary school age children, most notably from a year as a
third grade teacher, but also from earlier jobs and volunteer opportunities. I have specific school library experience
through an internship in a middle school media center. I enjoyed getting to know the middle schoolers, but I truly love the
elementary school setting. I am comfortable working with students of all ability levels and would welcome the
academically rigorous environment of an IB program. I especially like working with other media specialists and teachers,
so I know I will enjoy the collaborative atmosphere of Covington Farms."

When I actually delivered the speech, I didn't read it, since I would never do that in real life, so it didn't come out exactly as written. I felt very weird giving this speech in an entirely unrelated context, and I explained the setting for my friend, which was also a little weird. I think it was good practice, but I definitely get the most out of practicing for an actual upcoming interview or speaking requirement.

I was very glad to have read over the text several times before delivering it, because some of my initial drafts just sounded ridiculous to me out loud. The idea of "selling myself" is still hard for me, and I think it was even harder in a straight speech from me, without the usual give and take of an interview. I actually think that, in real work situations, I would be better able to deliver an elevator speech about a project or a goal that I supported, because I could focus on the external "thing" that I wanted to accomplish, instead of squarely on myself.

The main feedback given was that I need to speak slower (I had "one minute" ingrained in my head and seemed to think a buzzer would go off) and that I should also have mentioned volunteering at another elementary school's media center regularly last year, since that would tie together my elementary school and library experience.

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