The Elevator Speech Laura Whitlock July 21, 2023

The Elevator Speech

What is an elevator speech and why do you need one?

That’s one of those marketing catchphrases that gets thrown around a lot in branding exercises. What is it? Is it still relevant?

Chances are you have inadvertently created one and didn’t even know it. You’re at a networking event and someone comes up to you and asks you what your organization does. You know you have less than a minute to communicate about your company, your mission, your value proposition, your successes, your membership base…sigh. So, you rattle off a few salient points and hope that you have communicated effectively. That’s an elevator speech you created on the fly.

What if you created one thoughtfully and taught everyone in the organization to use the same one? If someone asks about your organization, you have a golden opportunity with a captive audience and you need to make the best first impression you can. And you want everyone else in your organization to make the most out of those precious opportunities.

There are many different mindsets and methods on how to write an effective elevator speech. But they all come down to the same result: describing your organization quickly and effectively in an engaging way in 30 seconds.

Your Attention, Please

You want to grab your audience’s attention first and foremost. Starting with an interesting fact or anecdote is a great way to begin.

“My organization is over 100 years old and our first member was Alexander Graham Bell.”

“The ABC membership organization has helped over 2,000 people find jobs in the construction industry.”

“Did you know that there is only one organization in the United States that creates the standards that define safety standards for this industry?”

Once you have their engagement, move on to what you feel is the most important thing to communicate about your organization. This can come from your mission and vision statement or your value proposition. But, one size might not fit all. You may need to tailor what you communicate based on your audience. Think about what the person you are talking to might find interesting. That might mean you have a list of points to communicate in your head so you can vary what you say.

And while what you say is important, what’s more important is HOW you say it. Keep your elevator speech conversational. Your elevator speech should be delivered with genuine passion and enthusiasm. Let your belief in the organization’s mission and the value it offers shine through. A passionate delivery is infectious and can leave a lasting impression on your listeners.

Make sure that you’re aware of your body language as you talk, which conveys just as much information to the listener as your words do. Practice in front of a mirror or, better yet, in front of colleagues, until the pitch feels natural.

Crafting an effective elevator speech for your membership organization is an art that requires a deep understanding of your organization’s value proposition and the needs of your target audience. With a concise, compelling, and passionate pitch, you can captivate potential members, forge valuable partnerships, and drive growth for your organization. Embrace the power of the elevator speech, and watch as it becomes a catalyst for expanding your membership community and fulfilling your organization’s mission.

Elevate your pitch and elevate your organization to new heights of success!

If you need help crafting your organization’s value proposition, mission, vision, and elevator speech, Nonprofit Resources can help.

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