The Poetry of the Elevator Speech


The Poetry of the Elevator Speech

elevator-pitch-490Once, when the mathematician Blaise Pascal was asked, “Why did you write such a long letter?” he answered, “because I didn’t have time to write a short one.”

If you are in the business world at all, you should take the time to write a good elevator speech.

Most people in the business world don’t need to be told what an “elevator speech” is. But for those of us who don’t know, it is essentially a very short – 30 seconds usually – description of your business or service that you could deliver to another person in the time it takes to ride an elevator. Of course, you can deliver your speech anywhere; parties, mixers, meeting some one on the street. You don’t have to wait for an elevator.

The idea is that when opportunity strikes we should be ready. We should be able to give a concise and eloquent description of what we offer and gives compelling reasons why the listener should buy our product or service.

In that way it actually shares  some characteristics with poetry. In poetry we strive to find the best word or words to get our message across in the best way. It should be long enough to get that message across but no longer. In this way poetry and Ericksonian Hypnosis also are very much like each other. A good hypnotic script will do many of the same things and really needs that “right word.”

To craft a good elevator speech there are a few things to bear in mind. Mainly, a good pitch should answer three questions: Who are you? What do you do? What are you looking for?

Also you should find what is unique about you and be able to frame that as a very positive and desirable thing. Entrepreneurs refer to this as your “USP,” or “unique selling proposition.” When you discover this it can be the most important piece of your speech, so it really needs to be unique. People will remember you if it is and forget you if it isn’t.

Try to keep a business card or other take-away item with you, which helps the other person remember you and your message. And cut out any information that doesn’t absolutely need to be there.

About Doug O'Brien

Doug O’Brien is a Master Practitioner and Trainer of NLP, and a Certified Hypnotherapist. In 1988, while assisting at NLP and NAC training seminars with Anthony Robbins, Doug achieved the designation of Master Trainer. He now conducts numerous seminars of his own around the globe (specializing in the “Sleight of Mouth” patterns of Robert Dilts, NLP Certification Courses, and Ericksonian Hypnotherapy) and helped found Columbia-Presbyterian’s Department of Complementary Medicine with Dr. Mehmet Oz.

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