The Elevator Speech is supposed to be that quick 3 minute blurb about who you are and what you do. It’s that magic moment when you have someone’s (presumably a CEO) attention and you need to make the most of it.
Realistically, however, making a well crafted elevator speech can be just as valuable to employees, prospective employees, and really anyone who’s attention you have for three minutes.
Yes, shortened attention spans are a reality, but a concise elevator speech forces you to boil down the value of what you do and even your role within a company. In a meeting that lasts an hour, spending 25 minutes on “Who we are and what we do” takes valuable time away from real discussion. When you’re interviewing prospective employees, sure, you could take all the time in the world — but hearing their elevator speech is really more valuable.
So treat everyone like a CEO and assume their getting off that elevator in just a few minutes. Besides, it’s good practice for when that really happens.
Need help building your elevator speech? Here’s a handy tool from the Harvard Business School: