If You Don’t Develop an Elevator Speech Now, You’ll Hate Yourself Later

Elevator Speech

An “Elevator Pitch” is the half-a-minute description of who you are, what you do, and why someone should work with you. You really only have a few moments to make a first impression. It is important that you work on developing and practicing your elevator speech. Your elevator speech should introduce yourself and your mission briefly in an appealing and spoken way. This short message should be well crafted, be succinct yet detailed enough to inform your audience about yourself, your mission or organization in the amount of time it takes to ride in an elevator.

Your elevator speech should be concise. You should use three to four short sentences and take less than 30 seconds to convey. A decent elevator speech will grab your audience’s attention by saying a lot in few words. The objective of an elevator speech is to leave your audience wanting to know more.

  • Avoid starting with your organization’s mission statement. Mission statements are usually not straightforward and they do not translate well to elicit further interest in your audience.
  • Practice makes perfect. Work on your elevator speech over many days. Keep editing and revising it until you feel confident in delivering it and making sure it has the necessary impact on your audience. Practice your elevator speech to see how it sounds, how long you take to render it and assess if it’s clear and interesting.
  • Keep your elevator speech simple. Avoid jargon, acronyms, cliches, and terminology that others outside your organization or field would not recognize.
  • State what you do and why you do it. Start writing your elevator speech with a brief statement for each of the following questions. What do you do? Why do you do it? How do you do it?
  • Qualify or quantify the impact of your work. Tell a short story if possible.
  • Close your elevator speech with a call to action. Mention an upcoming event or mention where your audience could seek more information. Ask how you should follow-up with your audience.
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