An essential component of your communications plan is your elevator speech. Since not everyone knows what that is, here’s an excellent yet simple explanation I found in a blog by Jocelyn Broder: “An elevator speech is a brief description of your organization delivered in the time it takes to move between floors in an elevator.”
A well-planned and well-crafted elevator speech is a business tool that every woman business leader should employ as a way to reinforce her company’s brand awareness. A good one will define not only what your firm does but also, if adopted company-wide, will assure that all people representing your firm are in sync. Here are some tips on how to craft your elevator speech that I adapted from Jocelyn’s blog.
- Include your company position statement
In other words, says Jocelyn, explain to the listener why they should care about you or your organization. Make an emotional connection that will be remembered and is easily relatable.
- Be the first
Or last, or biggest or oldest, says Jocelyn. What she means by this is that you need a “hook” that sets your company apart from the rest that makes it, and you, unique.
- What’s the benefit?
People want to know what’s in it for them, and Jocelyn makes a good argument in pointing this out. Rather than make your elevator speech about YOU and your company, help your audience see the benefit your company provides them. Remember that people are egocentric and when you make it about THEM, they’ll probably pay more attention.
- Answer the “so what” question
Jocelyn recommends ending your elevator speech in a way that answers the “so what” question before your listener can get it out. I think she’s right that most people will wonder why they should care about your company, so it’s a good thing to have the answer to that question at the ready.
When you sit down to actually write your elevator speech, make sure that it conveys the voice and culture of the company. It’s important to have everyone on the same page when discussing your company, so I agree with Jocelyn’s suggestion to share the elevator speech with your staff. I do think it’s vital to maintain a consistent voice when talking about your company’s culture. For more on maintaining your company’s culture, please read my blog, Women Business Leaders: Grow Your Business but Keep Its Culture.