When someone asks what you or your organization does, are you prepared with an on-message, concise explanation?  If not, you may be missing countless opportunities to establish and reinforce brand awareness.

Elevator Speeches are an important tool in the life of most business people. It doesn’t matter if you are a Photographer, Insurance Agent or any other type of business person, you need a powerful Elevator Speech (ES) to extend and support your personal brand.

An elevator speech is a brief description of your organization—who you are, what you do and why it matters — delivered in the time it would take to move between floors in an elevator.

An effective elevator speech should leave your audience wanting more, while answering the essential questions about your organization.

What you say and how you say it are equal parts to delivering an Elevator Speech that will either cause people to take notice of you or go to sleep.

Here are some Tips to help you create a great powerful elevator speech.

Keep it Short and Sweet.  This Elevator Speech should be no longer than 30 seconds

It has to roll off your tongue. You need to write it down and practice it so it becomes second nature to you. This will support a confident appearance when you say it

You have to believe it. If you develop an ES that embarrasses you or causes you to cringe, you either need to beef up your confidence or change what you’re saying about yourself.

Smile. It’s hard not to love people who smile. It communicates warmth and confidence. You come across as engaging and someone people would like to know more about.

Incorporate a positioning statement. Why should someone care about you, your organization or endeavor? When possible, leverage an emotional connection.

Include a distinctive. For example were you the first or only one to do something? Perhaps you are the largest or oldest. These distinctive s help set you apart and provide credibility.

Remove jargon from your Elevator Speech. Check to see that you are using simple, conversational words. Simplicity is the key. Your Elevator Speech is what you say to everyone. Everyone is either a potential client or knows of a potential client. Everyone needs to understand what you’re saying in layman’s terms.

Remember it’s all about them, not you. Hence check to see that you only mention “I” once. The one time you can use it is at the beginning when you say, “I work with target market.”

Don’t forget the basics. Who does your organization/endeavor benefit? How does your organization benefit someone?

Shut up. Once you’ve delivered your ES, stop yourself from saying anything else. I know this is a tough one, but people often blather on, which deflates the impact of your ES. When you stop talking, it will also prompt the person you are introducing yourself to to ask about you or introduce themselves. Both results are great.

Leave them wanting more. A great test of a powerful ES is if they ask you about what you’ve just said. Go have fun with this. Next time you attend a professional meeting, say your ES, shut up and see what happens.

Have a few ES’s in your toolkit. ES’s are not one size fits all. You will discover that your audience will be a determining factor in what specific message you want to convey. Once you have your primary ES, think through the various groups of people you are likely to use it with. This will help you decide what needs to get tweaked to make it just right for that group of people.

Finish with an ‘ask’. If applicable, be sure to close by saying what others can do to get involved and incorporate a website address where people can get more information.

Test, tweak, test, tweak, test, tweak, and test your Elevator Speech. Test for the verbal responses like, “Tell me more” “Wow that sounds really interesting.” Also test for non-verbal responses. Is the person opening their eyes, looking at you more intently or leaning towards you? You will know and feel when you have a powerful Elevator speech.

Bonus Tip: can your elevator speech answer the “so what?” question before it’s asked? When you deliver your elevator pitch, most people will unconsciously be saying “so what?” Answer it for them. For example, instead of “XYZ company makes your grass grow slower,” try “XYZ company makes your grass grow slower so you don’t have to mow it as often.” See how the “so what?” is answered in the speech?

Your Elevator Speech is among the first things you do that will form an impression with others. You want it to be just like you – professional and well delivered.

Here’s another tool to get you started. Just fill in the blanks to start working on your elevator speech.



This information was derived from several sources:

  • http://blog.journalistics.com/2011/elevator-speech/
  • http://www.careerealism.com/elevator-speech-tips/
  • http://www.salesconversation.com/issue2.html