Elevator Speech – here’s the scenario: You step into an elevator and come face to face with someone you’ve been dying to make a pitch to about your business, organization, service or product. You have only a few seconds to make an impression before the elevator doors will open again and he or she will be gone. Will you freeze? Or will you seize the moment!
Having a well-crafted elevator speech – those few sentences that you can use to sell your program, organization or product – is an amazing tool to have tucked away in your skill set. Whether you actually use it in an elevator, or from a plane seat, or even standing up in front of 1000 people is irrelevant. Having one ready to use is critical. To be effective, your elevator speech should just roll off your tongue with passion and conviction and should be geared for the audience.
Crafting a good elevator speech takes a few thinking steps.
The first is to think about the message that you want to get across.
The second thing to consider is the impact of your message on the audience. In other words, a result or outcome that gives them a reason to listen.
And finally, think about the action you want your audience to take.
What is your elevator speech message?
Sounds simple, but often the hardest step in crafting a good elevator speech is working out your real message. You need to be able to say it in no more than two sentences. And if you can get it into one shorter sentence, then it would be perfect. What it should do is contain the name of your program/product/organization and the impact that has on the audience. You should not use acronyms UNLESS you know the audience knows exactly what they mean – and that is quite rare. Take your time to craft this message. You might find you need multiple messages for your organization (and that is ok).
What are the outcomes or results
This is easier. Here you need a sentence that explains the positive impact of your organization/product or program. Find some real hard facts that you can say quickly and with confidence. Like “This program has involved 6 million people over the last 12 months” or “ People have saved $$$ using this over the last 6 months”. Notice that numbers (impact) and dates (timeframe) can be very important parts of this section. What is important here is to have an outcome/result that is RELEVANT to the audience.
Call for action
The final part of the message is about the action you want the audience to take. This could be as simple as ‘visit our website at…” or even “Can I call you next week to talk more about how we could work together?” The point here is you want to walk away with an action item for them to do. Without this, your elevator speech will be forgotten.
Practice your elevator speech
This is a very important step that most people ignore. It takes a good amount of practice to deliver an elevator speech with confidence and passion. You don’t want to fumble over your words when your opportunity comes along to give your speech. So practice with your colleagues, family and even in a mirror. Get it to be automatic – learn your words so you can give your speech in your sleep. If you want to check your speech against a list of “do or don’ts” then check out this neat article.
Delivery of your elevator speech
Once you have your words well crafted and you have practiced so you really know your words, then the final delivery comes into play. You want to make your elevator speech be memorable, relevant, passionate and actionable. Nothing does all those things more than being able to deliver it by starting with a quick introduction and handshake (“Hello Mrs Gates, I am John Dux, manager of…”) and follow by saying your speech looking the person(s) in the eyes.
The most important thing is to follow-up on the action item – if you said you will call, then call!
So crafting your elevator speech will take time and practice. Following these simple steps can really help you make the very most out of your short time to get your message across and see some very tangible results.