Why should you have an elevator speech?

When I’m talking about the importance of having an elevator speech, I typically get questions like “What should it include and how long should it be?” I have a 30-second elevator speech that I use over and over again. My goal is to generate interest in my products and services. Not only do I want to create interest, I want to convey ‘eye-brow rising’ curiosity in what I’m saying, leaving the person I’m talking to wanting more. So what do I actually say?

My elevator speech contains my key messages. Those messages are statements about why my products and services are special and unique. It’s important to convey who I am and what I do. And do it in a simple and concise way. Sometimes I have time to expand on those key messages with more information, so I’m always ready for that opportunity. What I have found is that most of us are pretty good about telling others what we do once we get going and there is an expression of interest. I believe an elevator speech is the mechanism that gets that process started.

Remember, your elevator speech is all about creating interest in what you sell. Interest isn’t only displayed by words, but also by facial expressions or body language. Look for signals that the person you are talking to is eager to hear more about you. Make sure you leave them with your business card and don’t forget to get theirs. Once you have honed your elevator speech, you will feel comfortable using it. So here are some things to keep in mind when developing and delivering your elevator speech:


  • Keep it short, interesting, and simple to understand
  • Convey your key messages clearly
  • Make eye contact and deliver with enthusiasm
  • Share your contact information


  • Ramble. You have to deliver your key messages clearly and concisely
  • Expect everyone you talk with to be interested. Some people just don’t care what you sell
  • Forget to get the person’s business card or contact information if they show any interest

The next time the opportunity arises, be prepared to talk about what you do and why you do it better than anyone else.

Barney Cohen

Business 360 Northwest

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