Elevator Speech: Is It Working For You?

elevator speech

Do you have a good elevator speech?

You know when you meet someone at a cocktail party, networking event, or in the elevator at the publishing house… and you don’t know how to answer the “what do you do” question?

Yeah, that sucks.

So let’s talk about how you can craft a compelling elevator speech or elevator pitch.

Designing Your Elevator Speech

Your Elevator Speech Should Go Beyond The “What”

The biggest take away is that you should…

When you’re meeting someone new, there are 2 stances you might be tempted to take:

1) to impress the person with a fancy title or description of what you do, or

2) to connect with them through the work your do or the things you value.

In the first instance you might say that you’re a consultant, business owner, head of communications, or an author. These words are very vague and don’t give people an in to ask you more about how you might be able to help them or people they might know.

So what should you say to people you meet with your short 30 second elevator speech?

I say start with the results your deliver to your ideal clients.

Elevator Pitch Examples:

For example, you might say that you help musicians sell their music online. Or that you design jewelry for men who want to surprise their wives for their anniversary. Or that you work with nurses to relieve stress from their care-giving roles through aroma therapy.

Each of these examples are super specific, and you’ll know if you’re a musician, husband, or nurse that you’ve met someone you need to learn more from. Or, if you know someone who fits these descriptions you’ll pass on the person’s contact details and make a referral.

And just like with an email subject line, you want your elevator speech to arouse a little curiosity, so that the person you’re speaking to wants to ask you to elaborate.

Share Your Elevator Speech Below

The best way to fine tune your elevator pitch is to write it down and practice the next time you’re out! Second best is to post it in the comments below, and you never know… you might just find your ideal clients are reading the comments, so don’t be shy!

40 Comments

  1. Llyane @ J-Ouellette.com on June 12, 2013 at 9:05 am

    I am helping business owners to speak Parisian French, so that they can get more francophone clients. I teach via Skype, so they can take classes while traveling, and have a super-flexible schedule, around their business.

    hmm, how was it, Nathalie? :)
    Thank you,
    Llyane



  2. Erin, Creative Soul in Motion on June 12, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Hi Nathalie! Thank you for all of your insights and advice, great video! Here is my elevator pitch:

    I help people let go of the weights holding them down through coaching and Reiki. I know firsthand how comfort, support and inspiration can help others find confidence and clarity to move forward in life.



  3. Liz Brazier on June 12, 2013 at 9:23 am

    I work with I.T Sales executives to help them alleviate stress and overwhelm in all areas of their lives.



  4. Gabe Nies on June 12, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Nathalie I LOVE your site and tips. Thanks so much!!!



  5. Mary Wiseman on June 12, 2013 at 9:30 am

    I solve all types of problems with design and create learning experiences which can be experienced both online or in person.



  6. Marta Costa on June 12, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    I help successful business coaches, speakers, and consultants take projects off their plates – and get them done, to their high standards. So you can focus on the things that are really worth your time. Like making more money, and working less.



  7. Jacqueline | Go Sugar Free on June 12, 2013 at 10:06 am

    I teach adults 30+ how to go added sugar free for healthy weight, better sleep, and clearer thinking.

    Thanks Nathalie!



  8. Laura G. Jones | Link to Yourself on June 12, 2013 at 10:33 am

    I help people get emotionally naked and take off the insecurities and fears that are holding them back from achieving their dreams.

    Check out my work and download The Ultimate Guide to a Vibrant Life for free: http://www.linktoyourself.com/get-naked/

    For advice I give to others for their elevator speeches, I like to use the acronym SIS: keep it Short, Intriguing, and Specific. Thank you, Nathalie!



  9. Sirena on June 12, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Hi Nath! Great video, and it’s got me thinking…if I was in an elevator, I would say that: “I believe that a woman can do anything in life when she is strong in her body, her mind and in her spirit, and I teach women how to reach new levels of strength in all 3 areas”.



  10. Purna on June 12, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Thanks for the clear explanation! I have multiple careers though (three actually). How do I keep someone interested without sounding like I’m being full of myself? That has always been a concern of mine and I get emabarrassed by the time I get onto the third description. Mind you, I can do it all under 30 seconds. :)



  11. Purna on June 12, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I have multiple careers. First, I work with people who want to improve their health mostly through dietary and emotional/mental changes using raw foods and spirituality. I also work with families to teach them how to get more money back from their taxes, get out of debt and build investments, instead of accumulating debt from all kinds of loans and typical insurance policies.
    On the creative side, I am a songwriter and I work with musicians and artists to help improve their own songs, as well as record, edit and mix them. I also do the same for audio for television shows and documentaries.



  12. Claire Stone on June 12, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Erm, well. It’s a bit scary saying out loud (It’s very new, you see!)

    I help women who want to get their energy back crush their kryptonite and find their superfuel



  13. Celyn on June 12, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    All right, let’s see…

    I help people keep their mantra in plain sight by designing and hand crafting home accessories in my home studio.



  14. Emily DeWan on June 12, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    I’m a New York City portrait photographer focusing on families with children & pets.



  15. Semonna on June 12, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Hi Nathalie. Great post. This aligns with some messaging I received from a webinar recently. It centered on the idea of thinking of your elevator pitch as a game of ping pong.

    Here’s my elevator pitch. Thoughts?

    I am a virtual admin and marketing implementation strategist. I partner with passionate, service-based entrepreneurs to support the back end of their business by taking administrative and marketing tasks off their plate so they can focus on making money, working with clients, exploring their passions, and growing their business. My particular specializations are email marketing management, blog management, and calendar management.



  16. Maribell on June 12, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Thanks Nathalie. I would like to be a mixed media artist whose paintings make people reflect and heal, especially, those who are grieving the passing of a loved one and share the Christian Faith.
    I said “would like” because I am not yet were I want to be, but I’m working towards that and this is my dream.
    Thank you again.



  17. Marilyn LoRusso on June 12, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    I guide women on online creative and fun eJourneys and self-paced eCourses to reawaken their creativity, clarify their true desires and give vision to their dreams.

    in joy,
    Marilyn



  18. Rachel on June 13, 2013 at 3:54 am

    I am making a difference and changing the world by making ethically responsible businesses rock their designs so they look as good on the outside as the do on the inside.



  19. Eleanor Beaton on June 13, 2013 at 6:17 am

    Nathalie: Excellent video on elevator pitches! Thanks so much for reinforcing the importance of being able to clearly say what you do fast.

    I have a two-prong business model.

    Prong 1: I ghostwrite books for celebrity entrepreneurs, and interview successful business owners for leading business publications.

    Prong 2: I take the INCREDIBLE information I learn from these amazingly successful business leaders, and create personal development material and services for entrepreneurs and people who want more out of life.

    So here’s my elevator pitch – and I’d love to receive feedback from Nathalie’s tribe members:

    My name is Eleanor Beaton. I interview and write about wildly successful business owners and use what they teach me to help entrepreneurs and other creative, ambitious people get clear on what they want and how to get it.



  20. Rashelle on June 13, 2013 at 7:26 am

    I help individuals and small business owners better manage their belongings, time and energy so they can live their lives in blissful balance.



  21. Ritu on June 13, 2013 at 7:53 am

    I help twentysomething women deal with Quarter Life Crisis, get clarity, and achieve their goals.

    Wow, feels great to put that in writing. I “broke up” with a friend over this actually. He put me on the spot and asked me what my pitch was. I got nervous and attacked him. Haha, so silly in hindsight. Thank you Natalie for the opportunity to clarify this.

    xo Ritu



  22. Janine on June 13, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Loved this video! Super helpful in fine-tuning my elevator speech. What I came up with: I’m a copywriter who works with small businesses and entrepreneurs to craft compelling, personality-infused web copy that helps them better connect with their ideal client.



  23. Nathalie Lussier on June 13, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Keep the comments coming ladies! I’m loving reading more about what each of you do. :)



  24. Margaret LeDane on June 13, 2013 at 10:42 am

    I work with women who are ready to improve their nutrition, lose weight, heal their digestive issues and create a life they love.



  25. Ashley Srokosz on June 13, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Awesome video, so helpful!

    I’m a Holistic Nutritionist who helps busy Moms eat healthier while saving time and money.



  26. stephanie @Babasouk on June 15, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    I’m the owner of an online boutique for creative cool cats & craft lovers!



  27. Sandra Daniels on June 17, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    "I tantalize people's tastebuds" – I'm a chef, foodie and photographer.



    • Molly on July 18, 2014 at 11:00 am

      Sandra, that is PHENOMENAL! Simple, powerful and straight to the gut! (Pun intended!)



  28. Marsha from YesYesMarsha.com on June 18, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    I help people who hate networking learn to do it in a way that’s actually FUN.

    I love the idea of being specific, even if you’re not speaking to someone in your target market (so that they might pass on your info to someone else).

    Also, I’ve clicked on THREE people’s links based on their elevator pitches above. Great idea, thanks Nathalie!



  29. Nathalie Lussier on June 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Yay! I’m loving all the connections and seeing what everyone does, great work!



  30. Keri on June 20, 2013 at 1:47 am

    Thanks Nathalie, great post!

    I help holistic therapists and coaches get online and connect with their more of their audience with WordPress websites and social media.



  31. Linda Pynaker on June 20, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Linda Pynaker,
    I write books and provide online workshops to help people to develop their intuition and manifest the lives they want to live.



  32. Southeasternfashiongroup Sefg on June 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    I work with fashion enthusiasts who want to work in the fashion industry.



  33. Linda Basta on July 15, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    This was a great post,,,and thanks for letting us share.

    I’m an online Natural Health Consultant and author, focusing on chronic pain and how to get relief without drugs. I also help others get started in having their OWN home based business.



  34. Molly on July 18, 2014 at 10:59 am

    I would LOVE some feedback on my first go:

    “I help people create healthy habits amidst the frenzy of modern life to build long-lasting happiness.”

    It’s not QUITE there…I can’t quite figure out the right words. Your help + feedback is GREATLY appreciated!



  35. Lanette Pottle on July 30, 2014 at 11:12 am

    I help women professionals & entrepreneurs stress less and achieve more.



  36. Beverly Smith on September 26, 2014 at 12:41 am

    I help runners nourish their body and soul so that they can have more energy and reduce their risk of injuries!



  37. Gillian on March 29, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    I help small business owners realize that their business is really a series of projects rather than one long to-do list. Then we can use project management and system development techniques to strategically work through what needs to get done and feel successful along the way.



    • Karen wilmot on April 20, 2016 at 6:12 pm

      I am the Virtual Midwife and I help expats who are giving birth abroad to find the right information at the right time so that they can enjoy their pregnancy.



  38. Maria DeS. Posture Awareness on April 20, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    It makes much sense!