Elevator Speech Training Worksheet
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Email *
This fill-in-the-blanks worksheet is based on the Elevator Speech Framework, a structured approach that enables you to master any speaking situation with confidence.

When you submit this form (by clicking the purple submit button on the bottom of this page), we will email you a copy of the script you will have built on this page.

If you have scheduled an Elevator Speech Training session, we strongly recommend that you fill out the worksheet below no later than 12 hours before your appointment to create a 3-minute draft pitch about your project or organization.

You can read an example pitch at https://est.io/example-pitch/.
Some quick preliminary questions
What is the email address you used when signing up for your Elevator Speech Training appointment (sorry if this is repetitive)?
Who is your audience? *
When you're done, what do you want them to feel? *
To think? *
To say (to others about you)? *
To do? *
Your pitch starts below.
What is your name? *
Example: “Hello, my name is Jane Doe.”
What is your role and affiliation? *
Example: “I’m the CEO of HealthyBabies.us, the largest US non-profit focused on infant health.” – This is not just about saying who you are but also about "pegging" yourself and your organization (if appropriate). If your organization has a special ranking in some important regard (size; being the first or only one of its kind; the oldest etc.), mention it–briefly–here to get more attention.
What is your mission? *
Example: “Our goal is to get rid of toxic chemicals in the foods babies eat and the things they touch so they will live healthy lives.” – Use conversational language that a 14-year-old would understand. Don’t just copy and paste the mission statement on your website. Avoid expert language and jargon. Touch on what you do ("getting rid of toxic chemicals" as in the example above) in the beginning of the sentence but keep it short and limited to one thing, then mention the outcome ("health lives"). Again, the briefer, the better because you want to talk about why it matters (see next step below) as quickly as possible.
Why is your work important?  (Begin with a signpost phrase like "Listen, we’re facing the challenge of our lifetime!") *
Prime your listeners by beginning with a brief dramatic signpost phrase (a heads-up about what you will say next). For example: "Listen, we're facing the challenge of our lifetime!" (Feel free to adapt this but keep it a brief sentence; right after it, pause for a moment.) Then, summarize the urgency in one or two short sentences. Try to point to a positive opportunity within grasp first, but then land on the urgent problem remaining. For example, "Humanity already has all the technology needed to deal with climate change successfully. But insufficient action is still threatening our very survival." The goal is to create a frame of urgency and make the first signal positive before pointing to the problem. This approach is essential in an age when more and more people tune out when confronted with catastrophic information only.
What's an example for what makes it important? *
Give a couple concrete and shocking examples or data points for the challenge, ideally with a perspective of change over time or comparison to what is normal so they have meaning. For example: "For example: The last 7 years have been the warmest on record. Dozens of species of plants and animals currently go extinct each day — nearly 1,000 times the natural rate."
How do you feel about this? *
Follow the example with a sentence that begins with “It makes me feel [use an action-oriented emotion like “deeply concerned.” Avoid conveying stifling feelings like “depressed” or “helpless”] For example: "It's upsetting and makes me deeply concerned."
What is ultimately at stake? *
Wrap up the “urgency segment” with a sentence using the pattern of “What’s at stake here is A, and ultimately, B!” Make B bigger than A to form a crescendo. Don’t just repeat your mission but take it to a higher level. Give people goosebumps. Use a positive and not a negative. I.e., at stake is what you want to achieve, not what you want to avoid.For example: “What’s at stake here is strong and resilient communities, and ultimately, the future of our country.”
So, what are you doing about it?  (Begin with a signpost phrase like "So here's what we do.") *
Use another signpost phrase, so your listeners know that you’re shifting to talking about the solution. For example: “So, here’s what we do: [pause].”Summarize your solution in a brief sentence to avoid information overload. For example, if you work in three areas, say: “Our work falls into three buckets: A, B, and C.” Avoid complexity!
What's your secret sauce?  (Begin with a signpost phrase like "But let me tell you about our secret sauce.") *
Now, articulate your “secret sauce,” i.e., what is unique about your approach, what gives you an edge, and what makes you different from similar organizations. Please make sure it is unique and not generic.Often, a combination of two or three (no more) ingredients can create uniqueness.For example: "So, we have a unique secret weapon. It's that we are both, policy advocates and actual builders of affordable housing."Here another example: "So, here's our secret sauce: It's the incredible diversity of expertise we have assembled under one roof."
What do you call your secret sauce? *
Give your secret sauce a name to make it more real, for example, "Community Impact Model". Instead of "model" you can use nouns like effect, paradigm, playbook, framework, etc.
What story illustrates its effectiveness?  (Begin with a signpost phrase like "here’s a story that shows how well our approach works.") *
Now, tell a specific story about an actual situation where your secret sauce created a positive outcome. A common mistake at this point is giving just another summary. Instead, offer concreteness: Begin the story with a dramatic obstacle. Show how your secret sauce overcomes it and creates a happy ending. Add "signs of realness." For example, take listeners to a concrete moment in time. Or feature a specific person, with a name, and maybe even a description of what they looked and sounded like at that point.Begin with words like “here’s a story that shows how well our approach works.” IMPORTANT: Please make sure the ingredients of your secret sauce show up clearly in your story to make it genuinely illustrative of the power of your unique approach.
How would you recap the point of your story? *
After telling your story, finish with a sentence like: “This story illustrates how our unique approach of [doing xyz] makes all the difference.”
What's your track record of impact?  (Begin with a signpost phrase like "This approach has worked for us consistently.") *
Instill confidence by listing past successes, well-known partners, etc. Use a signpost phrase like: “We have had consistent impact using this approach, for example, ...”Keep this brief. Think of it as ticking off three quick success metrics using the fingers of your hand. Do not tell another story here.A common mistake at this point is being vague. Instead, mention concrete numbers or use a quote. For example: "Over the last three years we've worked with 25 school districts, including the three largest in the country. The New York Times has called us 'the best thing since sliced bread in education.'"
What is something unexpectedly candid related to your work that you can share to get a trust boost from your listeners? (Begin with a signpost phrase like "This work is personal.") *
The goal of this segment is to trust your listeners with an unexpectedly candid piece of personal information, causing them to “trust you back” (which will make them more receptive to your “asks” in the final step).Use a signpost phrase so your listeners know you’re shifting to talking about why what you do is personal to you. For example: “This work is personal to me [pause].” This is NOT about talking about successes and good fortune. The critical thing here is to share something that is genuinely candid, requiring a bit of courage to share because it makes you a bit vulnerable. Apart from regret, candor can also come in the form admitting ignorance, or having had to learn something the hard way. Try to begin a sentence with "To be frank..." and it may lead you to genuine frankness. It’s essential to keep this short and focused on just one point. Here is an example: "This works is personal. I used to be a vice president at a hedge fund. The job made me a lot of money. To be frank, it also made me profoundly unhappy. I saw my therapist at least twice a week. When a friend helped me find my calling here, my life was transformed."
What do you say to pivot away from yourself to what is really at stake? *
Wrap up the personalization segment by saying something like: “So yes, it’s deeply personal.” Then, self-deprecate and pivot away by saying something like: “But it’s not about me. What’s really at stake, as I said, is…” and re-invoke the larger stakes you stated in the Urgency Segment above.
What do you want your listeners to do?  (Begin with a signpost phrase like "So, here is what you can do.") *
Use a signpost phrase like “So here’s what you can do [pause].”Suggest specific and actionable things to do. Don’t force your audience to have to translate your directives into action. Explain concrete next steps with an uncommon level of detail to convey your earnestness of wanting to engage. For example, actually say your phone number out loud, slowly, extra clearly, and twice as if it is a code for saving the world.Be confident and direct. Avoid conditional phrases like “If you’re interested, then….”
How do say thank you followed by an optimistic sentence? *
Know in advance the forward-looking sentence you will say right after “thank you.” Make it count. Make it strong.For example: “Thank you. And I’m looking forward to what we will do together.” Having that forward-looking sentence at the very end makes for a more confident ending, as opposed to just saying "thank you" followed by an awkward silence.
A copy of your responses will be emailed to the address you provided.
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