A well-crafted elevator speech is one of the most useful tools a job candidate or a business can have. This 30 to 60 second "pitch" helps you to explain to your audience who you are, what you do, and why people should want to work with you or purchase your products. You will have to work hard to craft a great elevator speech, but the rewards will be well worth the effort.
The best elevator speeches have a very specific target audience, and they cater specifically to that audience. The people listening to your speech want to know what you can do for them, so you need to focus on that goal. For example, a job candidate should include details about why they would be a beneficial employee, or a business would explain how their product solves a problem the audience has. If you have several different audiences with different goals, consider crafting different speeches.
Once you've determined your audience, start brainstorming what you would like to say on paper. Write down every single thing your audience would want to know about you or your product, then write down anything additional that you would want them to know. Once you've brainstormed and gotten a basic idea of what you want to say, start to pick out which points are the most important and eliminate less important points.
As you pick out your important points, begin to actually craft your speech. Start with the most important information, e.g. who you are, what your product is, et cetera. Then expand to include three key benefits you or your product can offer your audience. The rest of your speech should support these main benefits with statistics or examples.
You will need to refine the speech over and over again until you have a concise message. Consider whether or not there are better ways to say what you want to communicate. Ask friends and family to help you edit your final drafts to further consolidate. Once you think you finally have something, practice reading it out loud a few times to be sure that it flows well. Go back to editing if it is difficult to say or flows poorly.
When you are editing, remember that most people would rather listen to someone who uses clear, easy-to-understand language instead of fancy vocabulary or industry-specific jargon-even if they work in the industry.
Once you've finalized your speech or speeches, it's time to start practicing. The true greatness of your speech crafting will ultimately hinge on your delivery, so get it right! Practice until you have the speech memorized and can recite it in a confident and natural way.