If I asked you if you thought first impressions mattered, I’d imagine you would say “yes.” So if I asked you if you had an elevator speech, would you say “yes” to that one as well?
If you’ve never heard of an elevator speech, it’s a short introduction and an overview that you can recite about yourself or your business, explaining what you do and what you stand for. And you have to say it in the very short amount of time it takes to get into an elevator and ride a few floors with some strangers.
Of course, these days people are usually glued to their phones while in elevators and not making conversation, but the principle stands true. We all need some brief and concise messaging that we can carry around with us in our back-pocket at all times. It’s just a smart thing to be equipped with. You never know who you’ll meet when you head out of your home each day.
I first learned about elevator speeches (or elevator pitches, as they are also called) back in my days of working at a public relations agency. While my current job, day-to-day responsibilities, state-of-residence, work attire and so much more have changed since that particular role, I still like to have my own elevator speech ready so I can always try to make a good first impression.
Why should you have an elevator speech
Elevator speeches don’t just apply to the business setting — they are useful for everyone in many different situations. In fact, it’s the whole process and exercise of coming up with and writing it that makes you think about how you like to present yourself. Whether that’s to potential significant others, future friends, students, peers, coworkers, you name it. Having your thoughts boiled down is a great way to make a lasting first impression, which can help you in your professional, as well as your personal life.
The contents of an effective elevator speech
Your elevator speech should be unique to you. Grab a blank piece of paper (or blank Word document) and start writing out some of the following elements …
- Your name
- Your mission (which can also be your job title or job objective)
- Your unique selling point (what sets you apart from others)
- Your goals
- A call-to-action (what you want people to do after meeting you)
From there, you can highlight the important points and make it sound conversational.
You should be able to say all of this in maybe less than 100 words, or less than 30 seconds. And you don’t want to just ramble off facts, you want to infuse some excitement and narrative into your story as well. Be memorable and leave people wanting more.
An example of an elevator speech
Hi, I’m Susie Suserson, and I’m an entrepreneur who loves to show people how to make their lives better by being environmentally friendly, because I improved my own health through small changes I made several years ago. I own Susie’s Greenshop, and my team works with Bay Area families to clean up their homes and lives with alternative methods. We set ourselves apart by truly connecting with our customers through one-on-one visits, ongoing communication, and we have an arsenal of happy-customer testimonials to pull from, including my own. We’d love to come by your place for a complimentary consultation.
So you see … Susie explained who she was, what she was passionate about, got her business name in there and ended with a call-to-action. While her pitch (if Susie was a real person, of course) was a little bit more sales-like, it still gives you an idea of what I’m talking about.
Here’s an example of something I could use as my elevator speech ….
Hi, I’m Ashley Pitt. I love to help people get healthy, while sharing my passion of fitness and fun, both online and in person. I write the blog, A Lady Goes West, about my adventures in fitness, food and fun, and I’m also a group fitness instructor and personal trainer in the Bay Area. Many years ago, group fitness changed my life, and it’s my mission to continue motivating others to find enjoyment in some form of exercise, while living a good and balanced life. I’d love to stay in touch with you, so check out my blog to follow along with my tips and stories that may be of interest to you.
Did I hit the person listening with the hard sell? Not really, just told them what I do and let them know how they could find me if they were interested. Easy, peasy.
Overall, an elevator speech can be called a lot of names and include various information, but it boils down to the fact, that we should all take a minute to think about who we are, what we represent and have that little pitch on-the-ready in case we need to use it. Especially in an elevator with strangers!
And that concludes my thoughts on this one, friends! I hope you’ll join me back here tomorrow for a very special “Friday Favorites.” Have a wonderful day!Learn how and why you should create your own elevator speech for business and everyday life ... Click To Tweet
Questions of the day
What’s the one thing you’d like people to know about you?
What’s a question that you typically ask someone when you first meet them?