Elevator Speeches

Written By Gary Spirer Published February 12th, 2010

Simple Steps to Writing A Killer Elevator Speech

So, what’s an elevator speech, and how do you get one?
An elevator speech is a short (15-30 second, 100-150 word) sound bite that memorably introduces you, your service or your company by spotlighting your uniqueness. Your elevator speech focuses on the benefits you provide. And you can deliver your speech effortlessly.

Elevator speeches are intended to prepare you for short encounters in an elevator. However, you can and should use it whenever you want to introduce yourself to a new contact. A great elevator speech makes a lasting first impression, showcases your professionalism and allows you to position yourself in business, dating and networking.

Step 1: Define Your Deliverables
So, here’s what you need to do to craft your elevator speech.
First, write down the “deliverables” — the services or features that you provide or have

Step 2: Benefits – What’s in It for The Customer
Then, think in terms of the benefits that your clients or employer could derive from these services. Remember that people are always more interested in how you can help them. Keep that top of mind when composing your speech.

Step 3: Create An Opening Sentence
Once you’ve got that written, create an opening sentence that will grab the listener’s attention (see examples below). The best openers leave the listener wanting more information. And you do not have to include your title, especially if you think it has a negative connotation (an IRS agent, for example).

I know a plastic surgeon who says:
“I help every woman look beautiful.”

Many IRS agents use this old line – but it works:
“I’m a government fundraiser.”

A friend who runs a networking community for Europeans:
“I show you the power of connecting the dots between all Europeans in New York.”

Step 4: Practice Makes Perfect
Your elevator speech – or unique selling proposition – must roll off your tongue with ease. Practice your speech in front of the mirror and with friends. Record it on your answering machine or videotape it, and listen to it. Do you sound confident? Sincere? Is it engaging? Tweak accordingly.

Step 5: Start Using It!

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