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The Great Glass Elevator Speech

July 17th, 2017 by Dale Jones

Why the ‘Traditional Elevator Speech’ Leads Nowhere

As marketing and communication professionals, we’re frequently asked by nervous entrepreneurs and professionals headed to networking meetings about the best way to put together an “Elevator Speech”.

Fear not! Surprisingly and simply Willy Wonka has the answer.

First, let’s define an Elevator Speech.

Wikipedia says:

“An elevator pitch (or elevator speech or statement) is a short summary used to quickly and simply define a product, service, or organization and its value proposition.

The name “elevator pitch” reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes.”

Back to Willy Wonka, the fictional character originally played by Gene Wilder and later Johnny Depp in the 1964 Roald Dahl novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Incredibly, Wonka depicted the best way to begin thinking about effective ‘elevator speeches’ in his description of the Great Glass Elevator, which he called the Wonkavator.

Willy Wonka:  “This is the great glass Wonkavator.”

Grandpa Joe:  “It’s an elevator.”

Willy Wonka:  “It’s a Wonkavator. An elevator can only go up and down, but the Wonkavator can go sideways and slantways and longways and backways…”

Charlie:  “And frontways?”

Willy Wonka:  “…and squareways and front ways and any other ways that you can think of. ……”

To be effective, think in terms of your creating a Great Glass Elevator Speech that moves up, down, sideways, slantways, longways, backways, frontways, squareways.

Instead of a Traditional one-way Elevator Speech which proceeds only from the speaker to the captive, often dismissive listener.

Let’s look at a few reasons traditional one-way elevator speeches potentially do more harm than good.

For the complete article: Pay it Forward