An alternative to the dreaded elevator speech

I’ll be totally honest with you – crafting my elevator speech was my nemesis for a long time – I even signed up for 2 courses to teach me how to do just this and I still couldn’t get one that I was happy with. Whatever I came up with just always sounded unnatural and hollow in my mouth.

Why is it called an elevator speech? Here’s what a resource from UC Davis says (this is in regards to careers, but it’s equally relevant to business too)

An elevator speech is a clear, brief message or “commercial” about you. It communicates who you are, what you’re looking for and how you can benefit a company or organization. It’s typically about 30 seconds, the time it takes people to ride from the top to the bottom of a building in an elevator.


The thing is when we’re not used to telling people about what we do, the traditional elevator speech sounds  … formal and unnatural. it can put a lot of folks off from even trying. PLUS there’s this idea that there’s one perfect or ‘approved’ way of doing an elevator speech – which leads to feelings of ‘oh God, I got it wrong’ resulting in massive shame spiral followed by thoughts of inadequacy and whether you have any business being in business in the first place (yeah, I see you. I’ve been there.)  It can simply add to the many reasons folks start to avoid marketing their business at all (hey, if you’re struggling with marketing and would like to love it a little -or a lot, more, check out this podcast episode I created – it’ll really help).

It occurred to me that the whole elevator speech thing is a massively overcomplicated way of going about things – especially when you’re starting out (because that stuff evolves over time – trust me!)

Here’s the approach I settled on instead to craft a more human elevator speech:

I start with a ‘you know’ statement:


“You know how lots of life coaches fall totally in love with the art and craft of coaching but struggle to make a living from it?”

I might add a bit more depending on who I’m talking to show I really ‘get’ the problem such as…

“They try all these different recommended techniques to market themselves but it all feels cheesy and overwhelming.”

Then I say how I help:

…”Well I help them to get more clients, make more money and be able to focus on what they love – the coaching.”


Some other examples:

“You know how many parents struggle to relate to their children once they become teens? Especially when their chatty tween suddenly morphs into a moody, monosyllabic stranger? Well I help those parents understand how to relate to bridge the communication gap – without becoming a nagging monster!”


“You know how some women are so smart and beautiful but they always seem to end up with the worst kinds of men? Well I help them reconnect with their self love so they can finally meet the types of guy they deserve.”


“You know how some people want to be creative and expressive but can’t seem to find the way of the means to get that out? I help them reconnect with that creative side of themselves and develop a regular artistic practice that lights them up inside.”


Your Turn

What problem do you solve and who do you solve it for?   You know……

What do you help them do instead?

Final Tip


Practice saying it out loud – if it doesn’t roll off the tongue, tweak it until it does. This is something you need to own and feels comfortable (not to mention human!) when you share it with people. And avoid ‘coach speak‘ at all cost – keep it human and relevant – just like you.