How to answer the “what do you do?” question

(Post by Andrew Thorp)

“And what do you do?” According to popular convention this is what The Queen says to people she meets for the first time. But it’s something we get asked in more everyday business situations and this seemingly innocuous question causes no end of angst.

You’d think it would be straightforward to describe something we do every day. But all too often the answer that comes back is confusing, over-long, too cryptic or a total conversation-stopper!

I watched a great TEDx talk recently by Adam Leipzig, an ex-Disney executive and he outlined a nice structure for delivering the so-called ‘Elevator Pitch’.

He asks us to consider the following questions:

  1. Who are you? (name)
  2. What do you love to do (ie what do you feel supremely confident to teach other people)?
  3. Who do you do it for?
  4. What do they want or need?
  5. How do they change or transform as a result of your intervention?

He suggests we open with a really strong statement relating to question #5.

That got me thinking about our own business. A core aspect of our own work at Mojo Your Business might be described as…

“We help people craft and deliver a story about who they are and what they offer that’s so compelling that it stops people in their tracks and makes them want to hear more.”

If you open strongly you draw people into the story you’re telling – your audience wants to hear the next chapter and that’s a wonderful position to be in. But even with a ready-made structure it’s essential to populate it with the best possible answers and learn the skill of delivering it well, in a way that’s appropriate to the moment.


During August I’m offering a limited number of FREE Skype consultation sessions (30 mins) where I’ll review the story you’re CURRENTLY telling about your business and explore some new ways of improving it.

To reserve one of these slot, click here.

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About Mojo Your Business

Mojo Your Business is an innovative training & consultancy company based in Manchester, UK. We're passionate about helping businesses and individuals perform better through effective communication. We specialise in corporate storytelling and how it applies to internal and external communication (employee relations, employability skills, leadership, relationship building, sales, marketing and public relations). More at
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