Expand Your Elevator Pitch


Build Narrative Into Your Presentations


Lesson Info

Expand Your Elevator Pitch

Expanding your elevator pitch. We did that a little bit in the way that John gave his origin story in another exercise, but an elevator pitch is something that we all have to give in a multitude of ways. It could be how you moved to where you live, or how you got a job, or how you met your significant other. There's many different elevator pitches, and it's really important to kinda focus on, how you tell the same story or the same pitch in different time boxes and time frames. And so that's what this exercise is really focusing on. Do you know how to contract and expand the same message? Because sometimes you may be given five minutes to give a talk or a presentation, and then it may go so well your, you know manager, or your colleague may say, "I'd like you to share that with the whole team, and the whole company." And you have twenty minutes. Do you know how to do that? Or do you do the first version and then someone says, "Hey I'd love you to tell the CEO, but she only has five min...

utes." Can you go the other direction. So that's what we're gonna do. We're gonna kinda play with time boxing the same presentation and message. So, like so many exercises we've done, I would love a volunteer, maybe someone that hasn't been up in a little while and would like to stretch their legs. Maybe that's the first incentive for you to get up. So who would like to play along? Very easy exercise. Should we give her a round of applause, here she comes. Yay! (applause) Thank you so much, I appreciate it. So we have the prompts up there. Something you need to pitch or talk about. So first let's talk about that, do you have something in your life or your career right now that you might need to tell people? You know, maybe it's a formal pitch, and maybe it's just something where you're getting to know people. I guess it's more so me introducing myself over and over as I'm new to the area and I'm starting the master's program, and just in general. Great so kinda that, I'm new to town version of your elevator pitch, and you're meeting people socially and professionally, and maybe that pitch is one and the same. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna start out with one minute on the clock if you don't mind. Thank you so much. And you're gonna have a minute to give us that pitch. So you're gonna do that iteration, and then we're gonna cut it in half. We're gonna give you 30 seconds. You're not going to do the first 30 seconds, or the second 30 seconds, you're gonna take that minute, and just consolidate it down to half the time. And then you're gonna do that again with 15 seconds. What is the really, you know, kinda concise heart of that message, and then you're gonna do it again in 5 seconds, which essentially equates to about a sentence, or maybe kinda a mission statement, and then we're just gonna for fun, boil it down to one word. Cause there might be like a word that not necessarily is the way you introduce yourself, you're not gonna be like, "Dump-truck, see you later." But it might be kinda a mantra you hold onto, and when we work with clients and speakers that are focusing on pitches like this, it's that word they have in their back pocket that is kind of like keeping their engine revved up. They know that that's why they're giving this talk, or it's really at the heart of it. So that's it, you're gonna do it that many iterations. It's gonna be the same message each time, does that make sense to you? Yes. Alright so a minute is on the clock, go right ahead. Hello, my name is Shaweet Johannes. I just moved to the bay area after living in Europe for the past four years. So I'll just start from uh, the beginning. So I previously was a broadcast engineer in the Army, but after my, service, I worked for the U.S. Government doing similar job. Kinda was over that, and I knew that there was something else out there for me so I decided let's explore, I'll go to Spain for one year, teach English, travel. That one year turned into two years, turned into two more years in Russia, which turned into me deciding I'm just gonna completely change my uh, career path and do a Master's in Business Analytics. So I'm here, I'd like to um, meet new people, find an industry within the Analytics um, realm, and uh, that's it. (timer dings) Alright give her a round of applause. Very good. (applause) So fantastic. You did a great job, that was 60 seconds, we're gonna now give you 30 seconds, and I want you to not think too hard about what needs to go what needs to stay, I just want you to think about like, the intention behind it. Which is you're trying to tell us about yourself, where you been, where you came from, and how you got here. And it'll be half the time. And it doesn't mean you have to like perfectly cut everything in half, and edit every perfect word on the fly. We're just gonna see what it feels like to have half that time to say the same thing. Okay. So, go ahead. Hi, My name is Shaweet, I've just moved to the area to do a master's in Business Analytics. Previously I was living in Europe, two years in Spain, two years in Russia teaching English. It was a very good experience. Before that I was also a broadcast engineer, so I know the technology field, but I would like to get back into it in a different arena, and I'd like to learn more about the industry here, while at the same time meeting new people in improv and personal professional levels. (timer dings) Wow! (applause) You nailed it, if this was a game show, you're going to the final round. (audience laughing) It is a game show! That was fantastic. So my observation was, because you had half the time, and it matters not it's just an observation, you started at the end that time, you didn't go chronologically, it makes no difference, it's just fun to see how people kinda change the structure of their narrative. So you started where you are now presently and then went back, and then kinda like time jumped again back to the present. You also spoke just a little bit faster. I have no problem with either version, but just observations. Like, what happens when you have less time to give your pitch? Do you edit the words and economize them? Or are you just trying to say the same thing in the same amount of time, you know, or the same amount of words in less time? And that's not really what you were doing, but you did kind of speed up a little bit. I think sometimes when people are given less time, they just say the same thing and go a hundred miles an hour. So that was a great job, I think you got everything out, but now you have half the time. You have 15 seconds. So not everything has to be there, think of it you know, it's called elevator pitch for a reason, that's why, you know, people have been using this concept for years. Can you get this amount of information out. I would like to see or say that this particular iteration is the equivalent of like riding up one floor with a person. So in 15 seconds, give us your pitch. Before I'm gonna get off the next stop. Or get off the next floor. Hi my name is Shaweet, I'm here doing a master's in Business Analytics. I do have a technology background, also a Veteran. I've also taught English in multiple countries, and I'd like to get to know this industry better, and learn through you. (timer dings) Alright great. (applause) And I left the elevator. Um, for this time, you're only gonna do five seconds. We're gonna put, if we can, thank you for being so flexible up there with the timing. So five seconds. And this is really one sentence. So maybe this is your personal mission statement, or maybe it's just that kinda memorable, way that you wanna describe yourself and who you are to people. But just think of it as that one sentence, distilled down. Okay. Hello my name is Shaweet, I've got a lot of experience all over the world, and I'm here to learn more in Business Analytics. (timer dings) Great let's do, let's do that one, first of all applaud. (applause) Let's do that one again. Can we get five seconds back on? Yeah that's really fast. And this is, this is just an exercise and a game like everything we're doing. We're not saying like, "Oh you must have the perfect," It might be, your mission statement might be seven seconds. It might be 10. Does not matter, we're just giving ourselves some structure. But let's try it again, now knowing how fast five seconds flies by, and see what you come up with. Shaweet here, Business Analytics major, I'd love to learn more with you guys. (timer dings) Very good. (applause) Great. And so it's not about the perfect version of that, it's about learning how to communicate for different situations with different audiences, with different time frames. Because sometimes you can be an amazing presenter and communicator, but you just give a little too much for that situation. Or you have way more time and you didn't give enough. This time I just want you to think about that one word, that really kinda sums up your pitch. And whatever that is, and it doesn't have, there is no right or wrong, and you may not even know what it is right now, but just share one word that you think really kinda sums it up. Okay. Exploration. Exploration. Give her a round of applause. (applause) Take a seat, yeah. And we did another exercise in another class where we listen to someone for a little bit, and then as a sounding board just gave them a word that we were hearing. So after she gave multiple iterations of that pitch, is there a word that came up for you as the audience? She said "exploration", but what did you hear? Experienced. Experienced. Anything else? Yes Jerry. Um, adventurer. Adventurer. Great! So, that's a fantastic exercise for anyone that needs to really figure out how to say the same message, the same pitch, the same talk, presentation, whatever you wanna call it, in a lot of different scenarios and formats. And it can go either way. With that one we were going down from a minute down to a word, and sometimes we do this with people who get overwhelmed, some of our speaker clients that have this wonderful first opportunity to give maybe a TED talk, and they've never given a 10 to 20 minute talk. Or maybe they've done TED talks and that is, that is something they're comfortable with but they've never done a 45 minute keynote. And sometimes we use this same exercise to kinda reverse engineer it, and go from a word or a mission statement, or the first sentence of the talk, and build it out. Because it's very intimidating to say, "Hey I'm gonna give a talk for an hour." It's the same with stand-up comedy as well, like a lot of comedians do a few minutes in the beginning at open mics, and it's really intimidating to build up to where you have to get to, you know, be in a club and be the opener or the feature or the headliner. So I think of presentations in that same way. The only way to do it is to just experiment. And just like with a lot of our exercises, just kind of do on your feet first drafts, just speak it, don't try to get it perfect, and also just record yourself. What is the one minute version? Cause you may say, "I don't need any, I don't need all these versions. All I need is the best one." And you may find that your 15 second version is perfect. And that's all you need when you introduce yourself to people.

Class Description

When you watch a movie, read a book or even listen to a song, what’s the thing that draws you in? The story. By framing what you want to express within a narrative, you help people better understand, follow and care about what you’re saying.

Infusing stories in all of your business communications—from presentations to meetings to casual interactions—will get your colleagues to really listen to what you’re saying. They’ll also enjoy listening to you and never find you boring.

This class will help you develop ways to structure, create and explore narrative. We’ll use tried and true improvisational techniques as well easy, practical and applicable tools. By the end, you’ll be able to mesmerize your audiences and have them hanging on your every word.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Connect with others through story.
  • Use a story spine to craft your story, give it definition and develop mission visions.
  • Explore different ways to add story to everything you present and share.
  • Personalize your content so you can ease your nerves and establish deeper connections with your audience and colleagues.
  • Avoid presentations that are too long or too short, rambling, overly technical, and either too high level or too complex.
  • Conquer your stage fright by weaving in a familiar story so you can connect to yourself more deeply and feel a sense of calm on stage.
  • Inspire and engage your audience with a great hook that’s never boring.