What is Your IBD "Elevator Speech"?
So we’ve all heard of the elevator speech. So how does it apply to your diagnosis? Well, most people lose interest if an explanation takes more than 15-30 seconds. So if given 30 seconds, how do you explain your diagnosis to a stranger or a friend?
Because much of my life revolves around IBD, including my work, I have become quite comfortable giving my personal IBD elevator speech.
Keep it simple
Be factual. Know a good, accurate resource you can direct someone to if they have more questions.
The two likely reactions
Telling others, “I have IBD” or “Crohn’s disease” or “ulcerative colitis” is more than likely one of two responses: 1) Oh, I know someone that has that, they have that bag thing or 2) So do you ‘just’ poop a lot?
A LOT of misconception there right!? And here I am telling you that you only have 30 seconds to explain something that most of us have a hard time wrapping our heads around!!
What is your response when someone says one of those two things?
Mine is simple: I use my elevator speech to educate on a few quick points on how MY IBD affects ME & I make sure to tell others symptoms can manifest in many different ways. Sometimes this confuses people. But still, I try to educate. I welcome others to learn more by saying “Since we don’t have much time, why don’t you check out my blog on what I exactly work on? You are welcome to look at as much or as little as you’d like! And if you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer - it can be a very confusing disease and it’s different from patient to patient!”
That way, you have educated them, engaged them, hopefully, they will take a look at some (accurate!) resources you’ve provided them.
And that’s all you can do! Right!?
What is your elevator speech? If you don't have one already, what will you say the next time you have your chance to use your platform to educate?
How open are you about being diagnosed with IBD?