By Kathleen Boucher
Imagine you are a salesperson who needs to meet a monthly quota, or you are a student wanting to get into a specific college or university, or a housewife with a novel idea that you want to bring to market or a child with a new and improved way of doing something. How do you get your message to your target audience? It all starts with your compelling elevator speech!
Here is one definition of what an elevator speech means:
“Elevator Speech (n.)-An elevator speech is a brief presentation that introduces a product, service, philosophy, or an idea. The name suggests the notion that the message should be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride, up to about three minutes. Its general purpose is to intrigue and inspire a listener to want to hear more of the presenter’s complete proposition in the near future. –Terri L. Sjodin”¹
The question is, “Where do you start and what is the best way to make a compelling elevator speech?” The answer to this question is found in the book Small Message, Big Impact by Terri L. Sjodin. ² Here are some of my notes taken from the book.
- An elevator speech is delivered in approximately three minutes to a decision maker or potential customer with the intention of getting a longer meeting where you give a full presentation or proposal.
- Content in the elevator speech:
- Get their attention
- Make them feel a need to change, describe a problem; support your arguments clearly and with evidence
- Provide a solution and how it works
- Have your audience visualize the benefits once the plan is implemented
- Tell them what you want them to do and how to do it
- Tell them what you will do if they decide to move forward.³
- Formatting the elevator speech-
- Introduction– Grab the listen’s attention, tell them where you are headed.
- Body-Key Point #1, Key point #2, Key point #3
- Conclusion-Inspire them to give you their time. (Make them want to hear more by talking about some strong points you want to discuss if given more time).
- Ask for an opportunity to give them a complete presentation.
- Figure out how you can save your target audience time and money, while having fun and showing them simple solutions to accomplish their goals. You’ll have customers for life!
Crafting a compelling elevator speech takes creativity and perseverance. My notes only touch upon a fragment of what the book has to offer. The time and effort that you put into your personal elevator speech pays off in huge dividends when the exact people show up in your life that will bring your goals to fruition. Remember to teach all that you learn to your own children so that they will be experts too!
1.&2. Small Impact, Big Message, Copyright© Terri L. Sjodin , 2011, 2012, published by the Penguin Group, Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, LondonWC2R ORL, England, ISBN 978-0-670-92293-2, Introduction-concept page
3. This sequence is paraphrased from Alan H. Monroe “Monroe’s Motivated Sequence” page 29 of the book Small Impact, Big Message, Copyright© Terri L. Sjodin, 2011, 2012 ISBN 978-0-670-92293-2