Picture these scenarios:

  • You’re in your favorite department store, headed up to the second floor. You meet a long-lost friend who is on the down escalator and she asks you, “What are you up to?” You have 10 seconds – maybe – to answer her question. How do you respond?
  • You’re at a large networking event and want to “work the room”. So does everyone else. You have 10 seconds to let someone know what you’re doing. What do you say?

Sometimes we don’t have time for the “elevator speech,” aka a 30-second commercial. At the October 2009 Beachwood Home Office Link meeting, Wendy Schwarz shared a new technique – the 10-second commercial. Larry Mattes (M A Marketing Communication) dubbed this commercial “the escalator speech!”

Here are Wendy’s requirements for the escalator speech: 1) contains 18 words or less; 2) lasts a maximum of 10 seconds, and 3) the statement you convey encourages a question. We paired off and helped each other develop our respective escalator speeches, then shared them with the group.

So when we meet and you inquire about what I’m doing, I might say: “I give you the right words, the right way, right away.”

What’s your escalator speech?

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