Deconstructing the Elevator Speech
You've spent weeks, months, and maybe even years working on a research project. You know why this project is important and what your next steps will be, but are you prepared to explain all of that to the next person who asks you about your research? You should take some time now and create an elevator speech to pitch in these situations.
So what is an elevator speech?
In a research setting, an elevator speech introduces you as a researcher, your research questions, and the significance of your research. Because an elevator speech is short, typically 30 seconds to 2 minutes, it is a great way to introduce and share your research with others at formal networking events, conferences, casual conversations, or even during an actual elevator ride.
Ultimately, your elevator speech should provide a 'hook' and make your listener want to know more about your research!
Basic Components of an Elevator Speech
Below is a visual representation of the basic components of an elevator speech. Each 'floor' corresponds to a different part of the elevator speech.
You can click the elevator buttons and read more on what should be included in that particular section.
You can check out some quick video examples below by clicking on the various tabs:
Delivering an Elevator Speech
It's important to consider whom your audience is when delivering an elevator speech. For instance, it's a good idea to leave out jargon if you're pitching your research project to a lay audience as opposed to a group of experts in your field.
|Spell out acronyms before proceeding to use them
Here's an example of how you can edit a technical and jargon-heavy passage so it's more suitable for a wider audience.
Remember to keep it simple and to the point. State your research topic, report your findings, and convey its significance. It's a good idea to write out a draft first and read it out loud a few times to make sure it flows and is of appropriate length.
And most importantly, practice delivering your elevator speech a lot. This will help calm your nerves so you don't freeze up when you're about to share your research with others. To make your elevator speech not sound robotic, it's a good idea to memorize key points of your research rather than a full script.
And lastly, be enthusiastic. Recall what first sparked your interest in your research and be sure to convey that to your audience.
What's the difference between an elevator speech and an abstract?
Although both serve to present your research and its significance in a concise manner, elevator speeches and abstracts differ in format and purpose.
Note: If you've already written your abstract for your research paper, you can use it as a starting basis for your elevator speech. You can think of your elevator speech as a more condensed version of your abstract. Remember, the main purpose of the elevator speech is to engage your listeners so they're interested in learning about the details of your project.