Executive Summary: 5 Steps to Nail Your Elevator Speech


5 Steps to Nail Your Elevator Speech

Gigi Rosenberg wants to help you craft your elevator speech: “Breathe life into it. Let it help you meet the world!”

An elevator speech, or the story you tell about yourself when you meet someone, describes what you do. More than that, it gets at the answer to life’s basic question: “Who are you?”

Contact the speaker: Gigi Rosenberg, gigi@gigirosenberg.com.

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Top Ideas

Be Memorable

“I will never have your attention as much as when I walk on,” Gigi told us after sharing a story about drawing a blank when stepping up to the podium at the beginning of her career. She urged us not to waste those first moments. Whether speaking to a large group or just one person, your elevator speech can tell a story that says something about yourself and also tells the listener what you have to offer them.


Avoid the Pitfalls

  • Performance anxiety: Most people get nervous when faced with the CEO of the company or a potential new client. We get performance anxiety, and then we say too much or miss important points. We forget our listener and fail to connect to what interests them.

  • Not knowing what you want the listener to do next: We start speaking, but we don’t know our goals. Consider the next baby step you’d like the listener to take; it could be to come to an event you’re hosting, or simply to learn more.

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What can you do?

Hone Your Elevator Speech

Practice is key to honing your elevator speech. You can even ask a friend or colleague for help: “I’m working on my elevator speech. Can I practice on you?” Then ask for feedback, because everybody loves to offer critique and advice.

When giving feedback, never answer the question, “Was that good or bad?” Instead, offer specific feedback to these questions:

·        Where did you “get” it? Where was the elevator speech clear?

·        Was there any place you were confused?

·        What do you remember?