How to create an effective elevator speech.

Have you heard of the 27 - 9 - 3 rule? Created by Vermont legislators many years ago to help with persuading their fellow lawmakers, this rule states that your pitch should be no longer than 27 words within a time frame of no longer than 9 seconds with no more than 3 points discussed.

The elevator speech is not to present your entire plea/appeal, instead, it is to allow us to find the hook for our audience.

When creating your message consider these 5 questions.

  1. Who is your audience for this message? (i.e. General public, Local, federal or State lawmakers, and Department heads)

  2. What will appeal to their self-interest? (What’s in it for them? Why should the care?)

  3. What do you want your audience to think or understand about your issue?

  4. How do you want them to feel about what you just said to them?

  5. What do you want them to do after hearing your message?

Once you have created your elevator speech, you need to practice. This speech may sound different when spoken out loud. You will want the speech to come off as something you would say naturally. Seek out a friend, family member, or you can even contact me at [email protected] to practice and ask for feedback. Remember to make changes accordingly.

Feel free to let me know how this rule helps you.


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