Elevator Speech Myths

The Elevator Speech: Myths and Mistakes


Well, I ventured into the land of Facebook live and I may never go back!

Beth Knaus of That’s A Spade copywriting services and I recently spoke about the elevator speech: myths and mistakes. You can watch the full (30 minute) conversation below or by clicking this link. Or keep reading for highlights of our conversation.

If you have time I highly recommend watching. (Of course I do!) We both share personal stories of being afraid to speak up when we were younger, client stories and more. Having trouble viewing the video? Click here.

The Elevator Speech: Myths and Mistakes

Before getting into myths, let me clarify what the elevator speech is about.

First, the elevator speech is NOT a sales pitch. That happens after someone expresses more interest in what you do.

Instead, think of it as a conversation starter. You want folks to trust you, remember you and hopefully refer you.

Believe me, if answering that question makes your stomach turn, you are not alone. In fact, I often suggest to others not asking that question. Get to know people on a personal level and then ask about their work. But that’s a post for another day.

OK, now that that’s out of the way, here is a run down of the myths and mistakes Beth and I talk about in the video.

Myth: Fancy Words Make a Better Elevator Speech.

Truth: No one cares about your fancy words. In fact, that’s when they tune out. Keep it simple so you feel confident and your listeners understands what you’re talking about.

Myth: It’s so awkward.

Truth: It doesn’t have to be! You can do it 1) with the right words and 2) with practice. Say it out loud at home, with friends, anytime. Make sure you feel comfortable with the words you choose!

Myth: Elevator speeches have to be boring and “business” like.

Truth: Elevators speeches must be clear and compelling. After that you can most certainly infuse energy and enthusiasm. Depending on the format or how much time you have, you might tell stories, stand instead of sit, or use your voice to convey the right tone. In the video I talk about the French fry metaphor. You can read that post here.

Myth: Nobody wants to hear about me

Truth: That may be true. But they do want to hear from you. And there is a difference. That’s why I want you to remember that it’s not about you. Solve the right problem and be of service when you talk to people about what you do.

Myth: Everyone looks so comfortable talking to people

Truth: Most people feel uneasy talking about themselves. If they don’t, well, that is scarier. In the video Beth and I both share our shyness and fear of public speaking when we were younger. It’s normal and natural. It’s energy. Use that energy in productive ways.

Bottom Line

I don’t like the “elevator speech”. However, we all need a clear, succinct way to talk about our work and make our voice heard when asked “what do you do?”. So, put the myths aside and craft a message that is clear, compelling and audience focused.

Then maybe some one will say, “Wow she looks so comfortable,” about you.

Your Turn to Talk to Me

Videos: love them or hate them?

Facebook live: have you done one?

How do you explain your work others?

Be well. Stay safe. Keep shining.

Need help with your pitch? Find out how the Pitch and Promote coaching program can make it easier and more enjoyable for you to talk about what you do to others.

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Humor, stories, and insights, delivered 2x per month, to perform without the pressure.

Topics include mental health, work, human connection, creativity and more.


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