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Your 30-second Elevator Speech

You get in an elevator and next to you is Jack Dalrymple, North Dakota’s governor. Trying to be polite, he asks your name and what you do. You know that he has a big say in funding the organization, but you also know that you only have only a few floors to tell your message. 

So what do you say in 30 seconds or less?

eXtension has developed some tips on creating an effective elevator speech.

  • Introduce yourself – My name is [your name] and I work for [insert name] as a [job title].
  • Give the governor a few quick facts on how you and the organization have made a difference (I know, there may be 10, but you only have a few floors to go).
  • Ask a question back. Did I answer your question? Is there more I can help you with?
  • Write out your 30-second speech and practice it. If you have to, tell it to your dog. The dog won’t mind. Try the speech on a few people at work to get their opinion.
  • Give your speech with gusto and mean what you say.

Now, you are thinking that the chances of running into the governor are slim, so you don’t need an elevator speech. However, remember that the attention span of the average person is just 30 seconds before his or her mind starts wandering. Also, people have less time today, so you need to grab them quickly or lose them forever.

Richard Mattern, Information Specialist, (701) 231-6136

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