You Have 30 Seconds – Get to the Point

“So, what is your book about?”

“Tell me about your business.”

“Whaddya mean, your grandchild is the smartest one God ever created?”

You’ve heard of elevator speeches, right? Sometimes also called an elevator pitch, they are the brief and succinct responses to the types of questions I just posed. They are the kind of thing you could share with someone on an elevator ride. And unless you are in a big city high rise with a lot of stops, chances are you might only have 30 seconds, so you should plan for that.


Oh yes. For most of us, a well crafted 30-second response that does what you want it to do has to be planned. That is, written (yes, written), then practiced, edited, tweaked, and practiced some more. You might even try it out on thoughtful and honest friends or family to make sure you are accomplishing what you intended.

According to one definition I found, you have from 30 seconds to three minutes to get your story told.

I believe you ought to aim for the 30 second mark, and if you get really good have another 30 seconds you can add. Or some people have versions of different lengths.

I know of one woman whose entire business is helping business owners write their elevator pitches.

It’s that important.

You may be protesting, saying there is no way to tell the full and wonderful story of how God showed up to help you write your book, or how you developed the product you sell.

And you are right, you cannot tell the whole entire story in 30 seconds. But you can sure tell the highlights.

Because here’s the painful truth: no one has to listen to you. If you are trying to interest someone in your product or cause, or want them to buy your book – or invite you to speak or a do a book signing – you want to intrigue, not bore them to tears.

With apologies for not remembering it exactly, according to a professional business speaker friend of mine, your elevator pitch should catch people’s attention a bit dramatically by stating the most compelling, outstanding, outrageous, or exciting aspect or outcome about your product or service – or book. One thing.

You only have a few seconds to make a memorable, and good, first impression. Of course you also include your name, and also be sure to provide your contact info so if someone wants to know more, you’ve made it easy for them. My friend, Kay Jones Fittes, specializes in working with businesswomen, so she calls her company High-Heeled Success, but you can find out more from her at her website, and much of her advice is great for men and women.

Notice she didn’t say to tell the story chronologically, or go step by step through the process of working with you, or even tell all the details of how God orchestrated the miracle.

Keep it short and get to the point.

So tell me about it. I’m listening.

But only for 30 seconds.

Originally sent as an email to the Buoyancy community on October 15, 2021.
Joni Sullivan Baker
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