How to give an Elavator Speech

Here are excerpts from my book. ”Going UP how to create and give a great elevator speech.”
Know that elevator speeches serves multiple purposes, it is not just about getting business it’s about having great conversations. Preparing and giving the speech can affect not just your opportunities but your personal credibility as well as the reputation of your company. Elevator speeches can get you through those awkward social interactions so you know what to say when someone asks you what do you do? If you’re thinking,” Speaking is not my favorite thing to do and I don’t want to sound canned.” Remember, though it’s called an elevator speech the goal should be to have a good interaction and form a contact and or relationship not really give a route pitch.

  • How much should I say? Remember it’s called an elevator speech for a reason. You may only have 60 seconds to say what you do. Make it brief. You want to have three sentences for a short three floors of elevator time travel at the ready for brief meeting and networking interactions and a two minute going up in the elevator at the empire state building version of your speech at the ready for longer interactions such as plane rides networking events and dinner parties.
  • Should I memorize it? You don’t need to memorize your elevator speech word for word. In fact, that may make it sound insincere. You want to know what you want to say and rehearse different responses so that you can be confident enough to deliver it with gusto and spontaneous enough to make any changes in the moment. Again it’s to inspire interaction; it’s not prepping for a test or a job interview.
  • What impression do you wish to make?  As a body language expert people often ask me how to form a good first impression? One thing I teach is to think ahead of time of how you want to come across. The elevator conversation content and the delivery of the content should match that impression. Do you want to look savvy, smart, hip, techy, or funny? Think about the words you would use in your elevator speech and the nonverbal cues you would use in your delivery to convey that impression. Do you want to be fast paced, self-assured voice, high energy voice and energetic gestures or do want to be calm and cool?   

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at