Before I move onto the all-important one-sheet, I realized I left an important component out of my powerpoint presentation on how to package yourself with class (and this series of posts is based on that presentation). If you missed it, catch up on the first section of these important personal branding techniques that every successful Christian author employs well.

Since this series covers packaging yourself in print, online, and in person, I realized this is almost like your in-person one sheet, a verbal one sheet so to speak…your elevator pitch!

Every author should have an elevator speech

I’ve been encouraging authors for decades to create a 15-30 second “elevator pitch” and memorize it. You need to be able to clearly and concisely tell someone what your book is about and leave them wanting more. This can easily be tweaked to highlight your speaking ministry and the topics you speak on.

The reason it’s called an elevator speech or pitch is because the amount of time you have to share what you do, what your book is about, or what you speak is about the length of a ride up to your floor in an elevator.

Elevator - every author should have a speech

Penny Sansevieri discussed the use of an elevator pitch in an article at Author Marketing Experts:
“When would you use an elevator pitch? You might use it to promote yourself to the media, to book a speaking event, or to pitch a blogger. Elevator pitches can be used for a number of reasons and in a variety of ways. Once you create a great elevator pitch, you may find yourself using it over and over again. That’s a good thing!”

Here are 7 steps to executing a killer elevator pitch:

  1. Pray and ask God for wisdom and insight as to what to say and how to say it. (Matt. 10:19)
  2. On a blank piece of paper and list out the benefits someone receives from reading your book or listening to you speak. Hone in on the needs you meet for the audience who most needs to hear your message. What makes you and/or your message unique?
  3. Circle the most compelling words and statements. Refine the wording so that it sounds like something you would easily say in a conversation. Don’t use big words or complicated sentences.
  4. Use some 3 x 5 cards to capture the essence of you. Using the content you’ve already created, answer the questions: What qualifies you to write/speak on your subject? What help do you offer? Who are the people you help with your message? Why is this topic your passion? Try to create two sentences beneath each headline.
  5. Sort the cards, putting them in order, with the most important information first. That way if you have to cut your words short you’ve shared the most vital data.
  6. Include an interesting statistic or fact to lend credibility to your message. Use this at the beginning to draw attention, with the goal of leaving your hearer(s) wanting more.
  7. Edit down to about 60 words, then a second draft down to about 25 words, just a few sentences. Then read it out loud, over and over and over again, until you can say it naturally…the last thing you want is to sound canned or phony. It needs to sound like you, and you need to be able to say it without stumbling or hemming and hawing. By memorizing both the longer and shorter pitch, you are ready for any situation. Practice makes perfect!

My Successful Elevator Pitch

When I was on the air with Always Faithful I had lots of opportunities to use my elevator pitch. People would ask “what’s your radio show about?” And I’d say:
Always Faithful encourages women to trust God even during difficult times by focusing on the faithfulness of God. I typically interview a well-known author during the first half hour, then a local woman in studio for the last half. We give away lots of books and even continue the conversation with our audience after the show at a local restaurant.
That would be enough to peak their interest and almost always resulted in them asking for more info on the show, so I could give them a business card with the station info, show time and my contact details.

Do you already have an elevator pitch? If so, please share it with us in the comments!

Still haven’t read Part One of Lasting Impressions: Package Yourself with Class? Do yourself a favor.

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