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Why Your Elevator Speech Makes People Tune Out


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An Elevator Speech -
an Indispensable Tool for Self Promotion

by Molly Gordon, MCC

All an elevator speech should do is tell people what you do and for whom. Your elevator speech should have the general form, "I do (nature of service) for (ideal client) so that they can (benefit to the client)".

Spadework for Your Elevator Speech

An elevator speech is an indispensable tool for promoting your work. What is an elevator speech? It is a sentence or two that you can deliver in the space of an elevator ride that expresses the essence of your unique offer. Believe it or not, your elevator speech can be a lovely specimen from the garden that is your practice or business, a unique and authentic expression of the offer that you are.

This is the first step in creating such a speech:
Take five minutes and invite into your awareness those aspects of your work that amaze and delight you. Jot down words and short phrases as they occur to you. Don't worry about making sense or connections. You are gathering raw material here and, believe it or not, the less sense you make at this stage, the more authentically you will be able to articulate your passion and purpose later.

Choose two words that you find especially evocative. Trust yourself and go with your instincts here. There are no wrong choices. Look up each word in a dictionary and a thesaurus, faithfully copying the definitions (all of them, even those that seem not to apply) and the synonyms. To go deeper, look up the roots of your words in an etymological dictionary.

Reflect upon these words, their meanings and associations, and write down what you notice. Was there a surprise in what you found? An "Aha!"? A dissonance? A resonance?

Keep your notes in your notebook where you can draw on them whenever you need to tell someone about your work.

Sound Track for Your Elevator Speech

Review your notes from the Spadework for Your Elevator Speech. What theme song would you like to have playing in the background when you use an elevator speech? Get a copy of this song and play it often while you work on your marketing.

Write an Elevator Speech

Drawing on (the work you have done thus far in the course) your spadework, write an elevator speech, a one- or two-sentence statement you can make in 15 seconds or less that introduces you and your unique offer.

Your elevator speech should have the general form, "I do (nature of service) for (ideal client) so that they can (benefit to the client)".

Here are two elevator speeches I use:
• I help independent professionals and artists build great businesses and have lives they love.
• I help independent professionals market their businesses so their work feeds their souls as well as their bank accounts.

A good elevator speech will most likely evolve over days, weeks, or months. Start the evolutionary process by writing your first draft today. In other words, don't wait for the perfect elevator speech. Write an imperfect one, use it, and the perfect one will evolve in time.

AP- your self promotion and  small business marketing resource

Learn more about Authentic Promotion - a comprehensive small business marketing resource that turns marketing and self promotion into a path of increasing self-awareness, authenticity, and right livelihood. You can look forward to promoting your work. (It is possible.)

Self Promotion Index || Self Promotion, Small Business Marketing, and Your Business Values || Expand Your Vision of Your Small Business Marketing and Self Promotion Practices || Your Effective Self Promotional Marketing Tool - The Rule of Threes || Preparing Your Promotional Marketing Materials - Inventorying Your Unique Appeal || Preparing Your Promotional Marketing Materials - Inquiries || Elevator Speech || Self Promotion Resources: Websites and Books || Reprint Terms for Self Promotion Articles

Contact an acknowledged expert on self promotion Molly Gordon at:

Shaboom Inc. Life could be a dream…
PO Box 195
Suquamish, WA 98392-0195

As a business coach and small business marketing consultant, Molly Gordon, MCC, is available in Greater Seattle Area and internationally


"Before I subscribed, I thought Molly’s ezine was similar to some other art marketing e-newsletter. But it does more, supporting my vision of my life as a business owner and artist and making me feel as if I'm on the right track. I enjoy it because it is well written and thoughtful. The advice given so often supports what I am currently thinking about or dealing with!"
Peggi Habets, Portrait and Figure Painter, Bethel Park, PA,

"Molly, I look forward to receiving your ezine because you offer a balanced perspective, useful reminders that self-promotion and selling our services is okay, and encouragement to make choices about who we really want to be and what we want to do, and to reflect and persevere. So when I'm 'wavering', which is something we all do from time to time when building a business, I go back to your word - authentic and remind myself what that is for me.

I have been a subscriber for more than 3 years and I still enjoy your ezine. It's the only one I've kept my subscription to specifically because you haven't gone to the 'hype' place that so many (coaches) do. 

Thank you for a constant reminder that you're out there. It helps me get to know you... so when I do need a certain kind of help I'm quite sure you'll be the person I choose to support me. I love seeing your book promoted at the side all the time. I recommend it when I have occasion to do so, and am grateful because you shared chapters before it was published. Your ezine IS authentic, your personality shines through. And from a content perspective, it's not 'hyped' up and it's not formulaic. 

I think your content is p-e-r-f-e-c-t for solo/micro self-employed and those I call 'accidental entrepreneurs’ or ‘the creatively self-employed' (Me and my niches)."

Gwen Hayes, Marketing-Communications Consultant; Copywriter; Coach, Toronto, Canada

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