30 Second Summary: Elevating Your Elevator Speech to a Whole New Level

So, what do you say after you say “hello”? The 30 second summary, often referred to as “the elevator speech” is a simple concept; it’s how you present yourself to others in 30 seconds, whether it is a person with whom you are networking, or perhaps an old friend who you actually do meet in the elevator!

Although simple in concept, as a Career Consultant, I know that crafting that perfect elevator speech is not so simple.  Most people experience some degree of difficulty in deciding what information to include in their summary, and many are fearful about their ability to deliver their summary in a smooth, conversational tone.  Although 30 seconds does not seem like a long time, think about watching a 30 second commercial on television and you’ll realize, you can convey a tremendous amount of information in 30 seconds!  And, just as some commercials are engaging and others fall far short of making a successful sales pitch, so too can your summary, meaning the difference between hitting the mark or being politely (usually), but quickly dismissed.

First and foremost, your 30 second summary must be compelling and leave the listener wanting more.  Crafting your summary is like painting a picture – the more vivid the picture you can paint using language that is interesting and concise, the more likely the listener will engage.

So, what should you include in your elevator speech?  As with any communication, it is important to understand your audience so that you can be very deliberate in what you say.  For example, when speaking with a specific contact or employer you’ve targeted, be sure to research the organization and incorporate that knowledge into your speech.  Creating your summary forces you to think about what it is you do, why you do it and how you feel about it.

In general, the main elements of your summary should include the following:

So, what about delivery?  When developing your 30 second summary consider the following:

When all is said and done, your aim is to strike up a conversation and keep it going so that your audience does want to hear more.  So much more in fact, that it becomes blatantly obvious that your talents and the needs of your audience are a perfect match!

Original document, 30 Second Summary: Elevating Your Elevator Speech to a Whole New Level
Source: KBRS
Adapted for Academy.Warriorrising