I have often wondered why they call your introduction an elevator speech.

This is not is a lengthy sales pitch. You are not trying to close a deal or tell your life story.

There is a simple format to an elevator speech / infomercial.

– Beginning

– your name/your company- who do you work for or what company do you own

– Middle

– services offered, what exactly do you do or product offered

– how you are different, how can you solve a problem the potential client is having

– certifications, awards

– Ending

– wraps it up

– tag line if you have one

– how they can reach you, email, phone or website

– a call to action

Here is an example of one I like to use for my company:

Hello, my name is Angella and I own Midnight Janitorial.  We are a cleaning company that specializes in medium size offices, such as 3-10 story buildings.  Tired of seeing trash cans missed, areas not vacuumed? Our clients receive a full cleaning, not just a quick run through.  When we are finished in an office it smells and feels clean, we reduce the amount of complaints you receive.  Happy employees tend to be more productive employees.  Let us offer you peace of mind that the job will be done right.  At Midnight Janitorial we don’t cut corners we clean them. You can reach us at xxxxxx.

One that is not very clear would sound like this:

5 years ago I was laid off, and decided to start a company.  My passion is bicycles, so I thought what a better way to mix my passion with a company. I get to be my own boss. I would love to talk to you about my company. Thank you. (no name, unsure of exactly what the service is…..)

Some more tips on your elevator speech:

– write it down, and practice in front of a mirror or your friends, if your friends don’t understand what you are saying, change it until they do

– have a few different speeches prepared depending on your audience, you want to tailor it to fit their needs, what is their pain, how can you fix it

– if you are uncomfortable, feel free to read from your paper, this is a lot better than saying um and stalling out

– listen to what other people put in theirs, was there something that caught your attention, can you use some of what they are saying to make yours better next time

– practice, practice, practice, the more you speak your elevator speech the easier it gets

Originally published in the Democrat & Chronicle on May 30th, 2013.