Elevator Speech Template: Boost Your Career In 60 Seconds

Elevator Speech Template

An elevator speech should be changed to fit the situation, but all variations have 4 components and are based on a 3-part formula where they start with a question, describe your services, and conclude with the benefits you offer. Using an elevator speech template will make it easy to construct your pitch.

When meeting people, we’re often asked, “What do you do?” or face the “Tell me about yourself” request.

The perfect elevator pitch not only answers that question with finesse but, when exciting and relevant, can also make that answer work to your advantage.

Using an elevator speech template allows you to respond with a quick response.

Why Is It Important To Have An Elevator Speech?

An elevator speech is an effective way to introduce yourself or your company to someone and show value in a short time. If done well, it can create an opportunity for a more extended, more beneficial follow-up conversation.

This is especially important when the person you’re speaking with is a potential client or hiring manager, and you’re trying to make a good first impression. Winging it by not preparing an elevator speech is a risky and often foolish plan.

Make a good first impression by using an elevator speech template

By having a prepared speech, you convey that you are:

  • Organized
  • Armed with the most compelling information
  • Confident
  • In a position to adapt if needed
  • Able to be engaging

Without something prepared, you’re far more likely to,

  • Highlight the wrong information
  • Ramble and go over time, never making your point or reaching your goal
  • Appear disorganized
  • Lack of confidence and polish

Having a prepared elevator speech exponentially increases your chances of success when trying to impress someone in a limited time.

Elevator speeches also make a great digital business card and value-based bio on social media platforms like LinkedIn. They allow people to quickly understand who you are, what you do, and how you might benefit them.

How Do You Write An Elevator Speech?

Creating a compelling elevator speech, or elevator pitch, can be tricky. Determining what is important enough to include when time is limited requires thoughtful consideration.

“Everything” may seem important and therefore be tempting to cram in as much information as possible. Unfortunately, doing that will almost certainly backfire.

So how do you write the most effective elevator pitch?

Begin with the steps below:

  • Identify your audience. There are multiple environments in which an elevator pitch is helpful. Pitching a business idea or looking for investors for a startup will employ a different elevator speech than speaking to a recruiter at a job fair or a stakeholder in a small business or nonprofit.
  • Outline. Writing an effective elevator speech should begin with an outline. This will help ensure you include the correct elements.
  • Write. Once you have an outline, you’ll add the details associated with each heading. At this stage, including everything you think is essential is okay.
  • Edit. With everything added, you can now look at your elevator speech with a critical eye and edit out the less important information. Remember, you only have 30-60 seconds, or the approximate time of an elevator ride, and you need to keep your audience’s attention with the most interesting key points.

Your speech should be easily adaptable to different situations and different people. This makes it easy to prepare different versions of your elevator pitch.

When the writing is complete and you’re comfortable with your content, the next step is practicing. Your delivery needs to sound natural and confident. Achieving this will require practice.

What Are The 4 Key Components Of An Elevator Speech Template?

A good elevator pitch will include 4 key components. These represent the information necessary for connecting to a prospect and holding their attention.

These components can also be used as the primary bullets for your outline, ensuring nothing gets left out.

  1. Introduction. You should start out with your name and company and a statement or question that will capture attention. The question or comment aims to demonstrate your understanding of the person’s business. It needs to identify a concern or point of pain.
  2. What you do. Offer a brief statement or two about what you do or what your company does as it pertains to the business needs of the person with whom you’re speaking.
  3. Your value proposition. A value statement incorporates how you’ve helped others in similar situations and how you can help them in a similar manner. If possible, a short, relevant example is appropriate here.
  4. Call to action or goal. The goal can vary according to the circumstance. Your goal may be a job interview, an appointment, an investment in your company, or a continuation of the conversation.
What's your value propostion?

What Is The 3 Formula For A Compelling Elevator Speech?

One of the biggest downfalls in creating and delivering an effective elevator speech is the “So what?” factor. People want to know what’s in it for them.

If the person you’re speaking to is bored and can realistically say, “So what?” in response to your speech, you’ve missed your mark.

The formula below can help ensure your elevator speech is as perfect as possible.

1. Engage with a strategic question. 

Questions act as conversation starters. When the question helps identify a concern or pain point, your engagement is intensified through emotion. The answer provides an opportunity for you or your services to become a solution.

Example: “Do you ever find doing report cards for your students time-consuming or frustrating?”

2. Make what you represent relevant to the answer. 

You’ve identified a problem or area of concern. Now it’s time to demonstrate your relationship to that issue. You do this by explaining what you do and your unique selling proposition.

Example: “We work with schools like yours all the time. We provide an automated software system that streamlines and standardizes the entire report card production process.”

3. Explain your solution to the problem. 

The third step is connecting what you do to the problem by presenting a potential solution.

Example: “We’d be able to help you reduce the hours involved in producing report cards to roughly two hours total while ensuring consistency of measurement against academic standards across the whole school.”

These components then all come together in the following way:

“Do you ever find doing report cards for your students time-consuming or frustrating? At XYZ Grading, we work with schools like yours all the time. We provide an automated software system that streamlines and standardizes the report card production process. We’d be able to help you reduce the hours involved in producing report cards to roughly two hours total while ensuring consistency of measurement against academic standards across the whole school.”

Using this three-step formula allows you to incorporate the 4 primary components for writing an elevator speech in the most effective way possible. And it will put you in a position to achieve your goal.

What Are Some Tips For Writing An Elevator Speech?

Writing the perfect elevator speech requires more effort than you might think. One of the biggest mistakes people make is assuming that writing something so short is easy and doesn’t require much thought.

The following tips can help ensure your speech is as effective as possible:

  • Research your audience. The best elevator pitch is tailored to your audience. A little research can go a long way toward making what you say relevant.
  • Have more than one version of your speech.
  • Know the appropriate buzzwords for the industry, but don’t use jargon or too many acronyms.
  • Adapt when necessary.
  • Don’t neglect the non-verbal elements. Eye contact and body language are crucial components of communication. Using the correct posture and facial expressions can create engagement and put your conversation partner at ease.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Delivering an elevator speech in a natural, conversational manner is better than having it appear as a canned sales pitch.
Practice your speech in a mirror

What Are Elevator Speech Examples For Different Situations?

There is not a one-size-fits-all elevator speech.

To truly be effective in achieving your goals, you need multiple versions that can be applied to different situations and different personalities or positions. Otherwise, your speech will be too generic and won’t generate the interest needed to move forward.

Examples of versions of elevator speeches needed for different situations are below:

Positioning your product. Use this when speaking to someone who can make decisions about purchasing your products or services. The example above for ABC grading demonstrates using an elevator speech to position your product.

Gaining an introduction. Use this when trying to make an ally of an influencer within a company or organization.

“My company, XYZ Grading, works with a lot of educators. One of the things I hear all the time is how frustrating doing report cards is. Is that the same for you? (wait for an answer). We’ve implemented our automatic grading software for the schools in your neighboring district, and the same solution could work for you. I’d love to talk to your CTO and Superintendent and see if we can make things easier for you. Would you be able to introduce me?”

Networking. Use this when at networking events with other professionals or at career fairs.

“I see your company does system integrations and network security for school districts. My company, XYZ Grading, has created a software-based grading system that is a major improvement for many school districts. We probably have a number of the same clients and prospects. Would you like to discuss how we may be able to work together to provide a unified solution for our clients going forward?”

Job search. Use this if you’re a job seeker or looking for a new position or professional advancement.

“I’m Joe with XYZ Grading. Your niche market in educational system integration is intriguing. I understand you’re currently working with three districts and hoping to increase by 6 more districts before the end of the year. During my 8-years of experience with XYZ, I’ve helped several school districts simplify their grading systems and become more efficient. My expertise and familiarity with the districts and educational system could be useful to you. I’d like to speak with you about your current job openings.”

These are all examples that can be used as a guide for writing your own elevator pitch. You can find many elevator pitch templates online as well.

Lorin Harrott

After years as a professional speaker and corporate trainer,Lorin Harrott has turned her attention to sharing her knowledge through writing. She's currently a writer, photographer, and mom in Sacramento, CA, with occasional speaking engagements related to education and STEM topics in the public school system.

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