Sunday, August 29, 2021

How Do You Improve Your Elevator Speech, Authors?


In the fast-paced era of social media and 60-second news cycles, more than ever, all authors need a concise, attention-getting way of sharing what they are all about. Your elevator speech must be built for the over-stimulated era of short attention spans.

“Your elevator pitch should begin with something unexpected (so people keep listening) and end with a question (so people engage),” says Eric Besvhinsku-Zapier of Fast Company.

The first key to delivering a strong elevator pitch is... have one! Prepare one and be ready to deliver it anytime, anywhere.

Next, don’t wait to be asked about what you do or what your book is about. Be on the offensive and initiate a dialogue with anyone and everyone. The more people you share your story with, the more likely you will find favorable responses. Besides, practice makes perfect.

Tweak it as you go along, mixing your speech up so as to not bore yourself and to also allow you to experiment, and feel out how people respond to a variety of presentations.

Be animated with your body language. Get their attention with your physical presence.

Alter the pace, sound, pitch, and tone of what you say.

Sound enthusiastic, positive, empowered, happy, and optimistic. If you don’t sound excited, they will hear boredom and respond negatively.

Whatever you say, always make eye contact. It helps with people trusting you.

Don’t sound canned or as if on a repetitive loop.  Act like it is the first time you are sharing an amazing secret. Rehearse, but don’t sound like it.

Take a strategic pause at some point, allowing for what you said to sink in — or to open the door to a question being asked.

Treat the other like a child — assume nothing and explain everything. Don’t talk down to them, but don’t mistakenly believe they fully have a grasp of your knowledge area.

Identify who you are — clearly state what qualifies you to be the expert, but don’t rattle off a resume. Narrow your life down to a sentence or two.

State what your book is about. But be brief.

Declare you are on a mission — briefly explain why you wrote it and identify the void that it fills.

Word selection is important. Your level of vocabulary should match the subject matter. Get a thesaurus... do not repeat a single word— find good synonyms. Look for words that are deeply descriptive and sound like they have some pop to them. Keep substituting words until you feel you found the right ones. Don’t settle for simply conveying an idea in a base functional way; be animated and empowering.

Your speech likely won’t go past 30 seconds without getting a reaction. Speak at a good pace but don’t rush it to say more things. If you talk too fast, you may overwhelm them.

Smile. Exude confidence in yourself and belief in your message. Look and sound like someone they would want to be friends with.

Be ready to exchange business cards, share your website address, or answer any questions. An elevator speech is intended to break the ice and launch into a deeper conversation.

Ask for feedback and refine your speech. It is a piece of living art.

Do you feel ready to talk to a complete stranger? You can do it. You need to. Start practicing.  

Need Book PR Help?

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in helping thousands of authors in all genres.


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: 

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