Authenticity gives an essential lift to your elevator pitch

Here’s how to burnish your 30 seconds of shameless self-promotion.

Here’s how to burnish your 30 seconds of shameless self-promotion

I find myself troubled today by the classic concept of “The Elevator Speech.” If it’s unfamiliar to you, it goes like this:

You step into an elevator and realize that your dream customer is in there with you. The doors close, and you have 30 seconds of his undivided attention. You have the opportunity to tell him who you are, what you do, what makes you special, and why he needs to hire you.

In theory, the elevator speech is a great tool. It forces you to focus on what differentiates you and to be concise when you talk about the benefits of your services. What really bugs me, though, is how executives are being taught to commit their pitch to memory and to use their company’s clever taglines as part of the pitch. It sounds slick, not at all authentic. If I were your dream client, I would be eager for the doors to open — releasing me from your commercial.

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