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What’s the secret to a great elevator speech?

Of course, all good speeches (elevator or otherwise) require knowledge of your audience, your subject matter, and some ENERGY behind the delivery.

No one wants to listen to someone who doesn’t want to be speaking, or who is just “going through the motions”. For a great elevator pitch, or a great elevator speech, there are three things you need to know.

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Download a printable copy of these great elevator speech tips here – one page .pdf format


In fact, if you can ‘plug in’ these ideas, the rest will flow from there.  Follow these steps, and you will be engaging to your listener, you will speak with passion, and you can even cause people to take action. So, Are you ready to dive in?

National elevator speech champion Chris WestfallThe secret of a great elevator speech is to speak with authentic conviction. What is authentic conviction, you may ask? Well, first of all, being authentic is the goal of all good storytellers; you have to be yourself. Truth is always the best source for our stories, if we want others to be moved by our words. Your audience wants to know you – they want to know who you are and what matters to you. When it comes to an elevator speech, the truth shall set you free. How clear and honest are you going to be, when it’s time to stand and deliver?

While it may be interesting to note that you are a Pisces who enjoys long walks on the beach, that story doesn’t fit in an elevator pitch. It’s a short speech, so you have to make what matters matter. Ask yourself: What is important to you? What are you passionate about? What would you do, even if nobody paid you to do it? Your subject needs to be something that you care about – and then, you need to be willing to show your audience that you care. That caring is your conviction – your commitment to your subject. Commit to your subject in an authentic way, and there’s no one in the world that won’t stop and take notice.


Elevator pitches have to contain a value proposition of some kind. What’s yours? More importantly, what is it that you can do for your client, your customer, or your team? Choose the words that will help you most, by choosing the words that will create a new vision in the mind of your audience. We don’t always have an opportunity to speak on our passion; but there is always a need for a new solution and an improvement to the status quo. Maybe it’s inventories, or budgets, but you have to convey your value by offering a solution.

What you have done and what you care about are important topics, or themes, within your elevator pitch. Most people sell themselves based on their past, or their passions – and those things are important. But, if you’re going to take the time to paint a picture for someone…make sure you describe the future as well as the past. How are things going to be better, with you in the picture? What you’ve done is not as important as what you can do for someone. What is the difference that you can make, for a customer, an employer, or your team? And why is that contribution important to you? If you want to know what to talk about in an elevator pitch, I recommend you talk about what matters most, explain why it matters to you, and then… let others know what you can do for them, with them, and because of them.

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