Keys to Building an Effective Elevator Speech


We love strategies, they power everything we do for our clients. From the stuff we write to the images we create to the pitches we pitch, it’s all backed by strategy.

A big part of your strategy is how you talk about your brand internally and externally which is why our strategies are broken out into messaging and then marketing recommendations. Messaging is so important we dedicate a significant portion of planning to crafting your positioning statement, elevator speech, audience personas, messaging per audience segment and more.

Our favorite part of strategy development is creating the elevator speech, which is a dumb name for such an important aspect of your brand identity. I mean, who the hell even talks on an elevator? Anyways, the point is you get like maybe 15 seconds to tell an interested party what your company does so make it count.

What’s an Elevator Speech?

Imagine you’re downtown and you’re riding the elevator up to the top floor of a building when all of a sudden, the celebrity of your dreams (take your pick), hops into the elevator with you. For the purpose of this scenario we will go with Ryan Reynolds. Ryan says, “Hey, you’re the prettiest woman I’ve ever seen, and you look extremely smart. Where do you work? What do you do?”

What do you say?

After acknowledging you are incredibly intelligent and attractive, you dive into your elevator speech. Your speech isn’t a sales pitch (at least not an overt one), and it’s not an ask. It’s simply a succinct description of your company, what you do, why you’re different, and why someone should care. Oh yeah, and you should be able to recite it over the course of that elevator ride (That means 30 seconds…This isn’t New York).

Follow the below, to avoid becoming tongue-tied around hot celebrities.

KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)

Stop overcomplicating it! There are simple basic parts that make up the structure of a good elevator speech. Those are:

  • Who are you? (Not just your company’s name. Get all philosophical.)
  • What do you do? (Keep it solution focused.)
  • Why are you different/better than your competitors? (This is key.)
  • Why should someone care? (Why should they want to do business with you?)

Another thing that’s important about a simple elevator speech is to avoid jargon or fancy language that people outside of your industry don’t understand. So, help us if you use the world synergy….
If you don’t already know how we feel about jargon, check out our blog.

Make It Memorable

Making it memorable is important for a couple of different reasons. The first, and most obvious one is that you want it to resonate with your target audience. You want them to leave that conversation going, “Huh, I didn’t know they did that. I should give them a call.”

The second, and we would argue most important reason for making it memorable is so your staff can remember it and easily recite it at networking events. Your staff is an extension of your brand. They need to be able to explain who you are with the same wit and passion you would. A cohesive and strong elevator speech will cement your messaging in the minds of your target customer and community.

Stop Trying So Hard

Don’t overcomplicate this process, it’s really incredibly simple. If you get your core team in a room and talk through the questions above, you will identify some general themes. Rarely do we leave a strategy session with a client where there isn’t a clear core focus to their business, even if their team didn’t recognize it at the time.

A lot of companies spin their wheels during this process, and that’s ok! No matter what the reason is, our team is here to help and walk you through the process. In our next blog we’ll share examples of some kickass elevator speeches we have created for clients. Reach out to us today. We’d love to chat!

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