(Click on picture above to read the entire article)  The best advice I’ve found regarding elevator pitches is by Sam Horn, “When asked What do you do? never TELL them.” She explains, people should turn the monologue into a dialogue by involving the other person. Have them make an emotional connection so they can see what you do (Isn’t that what I’ve have been preaching all along?). Here’s an exchange Ms. Horn had with someone trying to explain what he did for a living and how he could be more successful:

Horn: “What are the end results of what you do that we can see, smell, taste and touch?”

Candidate: He thought about it for a moment and said something about credit cards, online purchases, financial software and computers.


Horn: “Do you make the software that makes it safe for us to buy stuff online?”

Candidate: “Yes! That’s exactly what I do.”

Horn: “That’s good … but don’t tell people that.”

Candidate: “Why not?”


Horn: “Because if you tell people, ‘I make the software that makes it safe for you to buy things online, they’ll go, ‘Oh,” and that’ll be the end of the conversation. You don’t want to close the conversation; you want to create a conversation.”

Candidate:“So what do I do instead?”


Horn: “Ask, ‘Have you, a friend or a family member ever bought anything online … like on eBay, Travelocity or Amazon?’ You just increased the odds they’ve experienced what you do or know someone who has. They may say, ‘Well, I never shop online. But my wife’s on Amazon all the time. She loves the free shipping.’ Now, confirm your connection by linking what you do to what they just said, ‘Well, our company makes the software that makes it safe for your wife to buy things on Amazon.’[1]

I can’t think of a better way to explain what you do and what you want, can you?



[1] Sam Horn, Why NEVER Again Give an Elevator Speech, LinkedIn, Oct. 7, 2015.