8/2/08

20 Seconds

20 seconds. That's roughly the amount of time you have to describe your book in what's called an "elevator speech". For those of you who aren't familiar with the term, an "elevator speech" is a little prepared statement of less than a minute that you use in brief conversation, in pitches to the media etc.

You pull it out in conversations like this:
"Oh, you're a writer, what do you write about?"
"So what are you doing now?"
"What will you book do for my audience?"

Many of us know this, and many have even written one out including myself. But how good are we at using it?

I'm going to stand up and admit that I botched an attempt a couple of days ago. I'd called in early to a teleseminar and the host began chatting. It was a call about online marketing so eventually, the time came to mention why I'd tuned in.

For a few seconds my mind went blank and although I did explain my topic, it wasn't nearly as smooth as it could be. I definitely need more rehearsal and practice. How about you? Do you have your elevator speech ready, written down, tightened up?

Last week, I challenged you to post about your target audience. Well, the next step is having something to say once you get in front of them.

So let's see them. Post your elevator speeches here, in whatever form they are at the moment to get some feedback, and to give us all some examples.

You've got 20 seconds.

5 comments:

Cheryl Pickett said...

Here's one of mine to get things rolling:

I work people who'd like to publish something, but they don't know where to start. They may want to publish a book, maybe something else, my specialty is helping them figure out the best option and then giving them some tools to move forward.

JaxPop said...

A terrifying & daunting task. In "real life" (daytime career) no problem. I'm able to get to the point, make presentations, answer questions, address issues - whatever, with great confidence (not arrogance). When someone finds out that I write & asks about that - I'm borderline apologetic, struggling to maintain eye contact & stumbling over my words. It's frustrating.

Cheryl Pickett said...

Jaxpop,
You aren't alone. I've slipped into that "shy writer" mode from time to time too, and I'm sure others do as well. I think it comes from the fact that many writers have at least somewhat an introvert personality.

That's another good use for this challenge, not only getting the words just right, but for some, getting comfortable using them.

Brandy said...

I have had the shy problem when talking about my book. I am a VERY outgoing person normally. I just think I shouldn't talk about it until I am published. I feel like it's a little kid who wants to be President. Odds aren't good.

Here's my pitch:

My book is for women who do not have time or money to work out at a gym.

I create workouts so people can exercise wherever they are so they can multi-task through their day and lose weight without drastically changing their lives and saving them time.

Cheryl Pickett said...

Hey Brandy,
First, I'm pretty interested in your book already-start writing :-)

My feedback on your pitch is that you should narrow down even more. Instead of "women", do you target those who are used to working out, or newbies, or both, that kind of thing. You can still keep it short but tell me if it's really for me at my level.

As far as the president comparison-you have much better odds because you have more options. Stay positive :-)