The Challenge of Elevator Speech: The How

Finding the right words for your elevator speech is only part of the challenge.  What Wikipedia definition in the previous post fails to mention is that it is important to remember that elevator speech is not only about what you say.  

The effectiveness of the elevator speech is also in “how” it is presented.  Life is rarely about intent, but always about perception.

  • The goal – it is important to know your purpose for addressing B party.  Know exactly what you want. It is possible that all you are asking for is an introduction.
  • The audience – obviously, what you say to the CEO should be different from what you say to the hiring manager of your next career step or a colleague at an industry conference.  Be prepared to tailor accordingly.
  • The language – you should sound natural, even though the speech is fabricated and memorized.  Make sure it is not an infomercial.
  • The body language – do not underestimate the impact of eye contact and the power of a handshake.  And of course, smile.
  • The delivery – your speech should convey not only your happiness about the opportunity to address one of the most important people in your life, but also your excitement about the subject.  Make it memorable.  Even if B party does not recall exactly what you say, he should remember you and your enthusiasm.
  • The props – your business card is the easiest way to help B party remember your name and message. However, depending on what business you are in, it could also be a sample of your work, such a marketing brochure that you created or a picture of your fashion design.

CONCLUSION:  Practice, practice, practice.  A speech is a speech is a speech.  Even it is only 30-seconds long and does not include flip charts or a PowerPoint presentation.

You bet I am back at Toastmaster’s.  Are you ready for your next elevator opportunity?

You can read my elevator speech on my Elevator Pitch menu page.

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