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Elevator speech primer

A well rehearsed and professional elevator speech can open doors you hadn't even known existed. It's a brief "commercial" which distills your value and personality into a focused and prepared dialogue.

However, we all know the difference between knowing what you should do and what you actually do often gets buried by the multitude of tasks which seem more concrete and immediate. Before we share our guide to help develop your elevator speech, let's break down some precursor elements and tackle each point simply and clearly.


By definition, this speech must be brief and no longer than 25 - 30 seconds, approximately 80 - 90 words and seven or eight sentences.


If you aren't approachable and open to meeting someone new, you'll likely never get the chance to make anything but a forgettable impression. Relax and be confident. We often forget how powerful a positive attitude is in any relationship; business relationships are no less guided by our attraction to someone who exudes an air of presence and confidence.

Stand in front of a mirror and work on your smile. Relax your shoulders and take care to exude a warm and inviting presence.

Pay attention

As important as caring for your body language and an open approach is to be aware of the non-verbal cues others are giving you. Are their arms crossed? Do they look distressed or worried? It's probably not the right time to launch into speech about how you deployed a large scale data conversion project in time and under budget.

No one likes a salesman

It's a truism because it is rooted in our shared experience. People don't like to "be sold" but they like "buying." The key in most business conversations is to present what value, what gap, what need does your prospect have that you can help meet.


Your guide

Use the following bold topics to write concise, powerful statements which convey value and demonstrate passion or enthusiasm throughout. An example is provided in italics under the section guides.


  • Open with a statement, a hook, which grabs attention and interests your audience

  • Describe yourself and/or your company

  • Offer a personal detail

My name is Kevin Smith and I'm a wannabe marathon runner and managing partner of a personal investment company.


  • Describe what problems you've helped solve

  • Be specific

  • Convey joy in your work

I guide my clients through their journey in meeting their short and long-term investment goals and ensure they are on track to enjoy their retirement, whether that's relaxing on the beach or managing a working retirement.


  • What special service, product or solutions do you offer?

  • How do your unique talents speak to your company's objectives?

  • The landscape is crowded with smart and motivated business people whose aim it is to fill a niche. The best way to set yourself apart is to leave an impression that lasts far longer than your initial meeting. Don't underestimate the power of making someone smile and instilling confidence in someone they just met.

Understanding my clients by listening to what they say and how they say it helps guide my research. Talking through people's goals and formulating a plan that lets them relax and enjoy their lives keeps me going.


The speech should end with a call to action. Are you looking for new employment opportunities? Is your goal to acquire new clients to expand business? As with any goal, if you don't know what you want, you'll never get it.

  • Offer your contact information

  • Invite them to share something

  • Always end with a smile

If you ever have a need to discuss your options with a friendly face, keep me in mind. Can I offer you my business card? What brings you here? ... It was a pleasure meeting you.

Oh yeah, don't forget to hold the open for them... but you already knew that, didn't you?

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