Part I - Continued

Parts of an Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is not easy to write. It is hard to boil down your purpose and your story into a few words. For insight, we’ve turned to Adam Leipzig, who made a short video for TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) about how to define your life purpose in five minutes. The video is 10 minutes long, and makes it very easy. Watch it here.

For your elevator pitch for this module, you don’t have to explain your whole life purpose (though you could!). To create an elevator pitch for your current goal, we can use Leipzig’s formula:

  • Who are you? State your name.
  • What are you doing? Explain the key thing you do, or are doing.
  • Who do you do it for?
  • What do those people want or need that you give them?
  • How do they change or transform as a result of what you give them?

Now put it all into a sentence. That’s your elevator pitch. You can say it out loud to yourself or to somebody else, and record it on your phone or any other audio device to listen to how it sounds. It should look and sound like these great examples from the World Pulse social network:

Chi Yvonne Leina:

I am an independent journalist and women`s rights activist. I run a local not-for-profit in Cameroon called Gender Danger that works to fight dehumanizing cultural practices against women in the country.

Stella Paul:

I am a multimedia journalist with a lot of 'Been there, Done that' stories. I report/blog/ videoblog and make documentaries on development and environment issues...As a journalist, I tell to the global audience, the unheard stories of marginalized communities. And when I am not working on a news story, you will find me talking about issues that affect our youth, especially our women.

What makes these pitches great?

They clearly identify:

  • Who these women are.
  • What they are doing.
  • Who they are doing it for.
  • What the people need that they are giving them.
  • How their work creates needed change.

Thinking Exercise

How does it feel the first few times you say it out loud?

If you stumble at a certain spot, that’s a place to look closer. Maybe it is thelack of clarity. Maybe the solution is hard to implement (which doesn’t mean it isn’t a good idea!) Maybe others can’t really understand the issue, and need it expressed in another way. Maybe it is complicated, and you need a simple angle to approach explaining it. Maybe other people might not understand the need for different solutionsbecause the problem isn’t close to home for them, doesn’t make sense to them, or because of bias in their personal, social, or cultural viewpoint. Whatever your answers are above, these are your clues as to where you will have to work to engage others.

Put that elevator pitch to work!

Once you have a good, simple explanation for what you’d like to accomplish—your elevator pitch—the next step is to engage others in collaborating with you to make the change you’d like to see.