Elevator Speech: The 90 Second Marketing Tool That Opens Doors

Do you have an elevator speech?

If you have a product or service, an idea, a mission, or a cause, you need an elevator speech. Although his short talk might look simple and unassuming, it may well be one of the most powerful marketing tools known to man. If you don’t have one, get one. If you have one, make sure it’s clean, clear, and up to date.

I don’t know who gave this short verbal description its name, but the title fits. An elevator speech is a short oral talk that describes you, your business, or cause in the time it takes to ride an elevator; about a minute and a half. This short speech is not memorized or read, but should be casual and concise. It is often given in response to a question regarding the nature of your business, the type of job you’re after or the purpose of your organization or charity.

There are many situations which only allow you a minute or two to put out your message. If your words are compelling and interesting, your listener is more likely to engage in a conversation and ask to hear more. Even if your listener has to move on, if you were powerful or intriguing, you will probably be remembered.

Although this short little talk should sound casual, don’t be casual or lazy about creating it. In many cases this may be your best and only chance to introduce yourself. A strong elevator speech acts like a key and will open doors to opportunities. If it’s weak or unclear that door of opportunity can swing the other way or may be deadlocked.

Here are some things to consider when developing your 90 second pitch.

· Be Personal – Infuse a bit of yourself into the message. You can talk about how you got involved in the cause or what attracted you to a particular business or career.

· Be Casual – Do not memorize any particular phrases or sections word for word. Practice will help make your speech sound comfortable and approachable.

· Be Clear – Keep it simple. If you put too many facts or details into the talk, the message will become garbled and confusing.

· Keep it Short – Resist the urge to keep talking or lengthen the speech. Wait for a response or question before you offer more information.

If you have difficulty narrowing down your intro talk, consider seeking out the help of a writer or story-coach. If you look for professional help, look for professionals that specialized in practiced but not memorized speech. Storytellers, story-coaches, branding experts, and some speech writers are good choices. After you develop your elevator speech, practice it a few times and ask for feedback. Once you feel comfortable with it, use it often and watch those doors open.