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Elevator Speeches Can DIS-Qualify. . .


One of the reasons we develop great Elevator Speeches is for networking events, social functions, and seminars. Often, as the audience is getting settled, the leader announces, “Before we get started, let’s go around the room When it’s your turn; stand up, tell who you are and what you do – give us your Elevator Speech.”

We also need an Elevator Speech for one-on-one situations, formal and informal networking, where we’re asked, “What do you do?”

Everyone is not a prospect for the products and/or services you offer.

You are not going to purchase every product and service someone tells you about.

When networking, one goal should be: “Don’t waste Major time on Minor possibilities!”

Example: I was attending a chamber event, where people arrived early to Network. As typically happens, people were introducing themselves to others and giving their Elevator Speech.

One attendee was lady who sold replacement windows for older homes. She had a pretty good elevator speech for presenting to a group of people. It was easy to understand what she was selling. The product has an excellent reputation, and the firm she worked for had been in business for a number of years. If I was a prospect for replacement windows, or knew someone in the market for those, I’d feel comfortable having a conversation with her or making a referral.

I assume many attendees are not prospects for her product. They made be renters, recently purchased windows, or live in a newer home where the original ones are great.

Delivering her entire Elevator Speech to people who have absolutely no interest is wasting their time and hers. Sure, they may know someone who may have an interest, but time is a precious commodity when networking before an event starts.

A good one-on-one Elevator Speech will quickly DIS-Qualify someone.

Guidelines for a great One-on-One Elevator Speech.


  1. Clarity is not optional. 

  2. Don’t be clever with words or phrases that can’t be interpreted immediately.

  3. Use plain, simple language, avoiding buzz words, acronyms, and techno-speak.

  4. You won’t impress people with words they don’t know. You’ll lose them!

  5. If they don’t GET IT! they’ll never be a prospect.


  1. With a maximum of three sentences, you should both know if a future conversation should be scheduled, or not.

DIS-qualify People.

  1. You are not a potential buyer of for all products and services and neither is the person you’re talking to.

  2. DIS-qualifying people is a good thing!

Use Your WHY.

  1. Per Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle, “People don’t buy What you do, they buy Why you do it.”

  2. Your WHY is also the fifth floor on your Elevator Speech Template.

  3. My WHY is:

  4. “Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, andLeadership Opportunities!”

  5. Bottom line: If someone I’m delivering my Elevator Speech and someone doesn’t agree with that statement, the odds are, we won’t be doing business.

  6. That’s OK, and time we both move on and talk to others.

Get a Response.

  1. A good one would be:

  2. “Interesting. Tell me more.”

Use a Question that Asks for a Response.

  1. Example:

  2. “You don’t know anyone who has an interest in those products or services, do you?”

  3. Asking in this manner will evoke a better response than the usual, “Do you know anyone who can use what I offer?”

Here is My One-on-One Elevator Speech. I’m Fred Miller. “I speak, coach, and write about networking, public speaking, and presentation skills.”

A good response would be, “That sounds interesting. Tell me more.”

If they don’t respond, I say: “Everyone who hires me believes ‘Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, andLeadership Opportunities’.”

I continue, soliciting a response, with: “You don’t know anyone who wants to improve those skills, do you?”

IMPORTANT! I prefer the words “Hire Me” instead of. . . “I work with people who. . . “I help companies. . .

Hire Me says, “I’m Good at what I do.” Hire Me says, “I’m Proud of what I do.” Hire Me makes it clear I don’t do this for free! Hire Me can be an excellent DIS-Qualifier, especially with the One-on-One Audience.

If Hire Me turns them off – that’s OK!      •  Move on to someone who might “want to know more,” and appreciates the message,         “Hire Me,” implies.

If you’re not comfortable with the phrase, “Hire Me,” try one of these:

  1. Businesses and individuals pay me to. . .

  2. Businesses put me on their payroll to. . .

  3. People give me money to. . .

Depending on your profession, one of the following could fit:

  1. People become my patients. . .

  2. Individuals and companies become our clients. . .

  3. Homeowners have their major appliances serviced by us. . .

Non-Profits might say. . .

  1. People write us checks. . .

  2. Individuals give us money. . .

  3. Companies donate to us. . .

  4. Service clubs volunteer for us. . .

A Presentation has two components, Content and Delivery. Content is the message. Delivery is presenting it. Of the two components, Delivery trumps Content. On the Delivery side, NonVerbal trumps Verbal. “We believe what we see!”

You might have a tremendous Elevator Speech, but if it isn’t delivered in a manner that quickly educates, entertains, and explains it well, your recipient, they will never GET IT!

Your next step is to Practice – Practice – Practice delivering your One-on-One Elevator Speech.

Use this information to develop your Elevator Speech and I guarantee it will be absolutely, positively – NO SWEAT!


About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, a coach, and the author of the books, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” and “NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”

Businesses, Individuals, and Organizations hire him because they want to improve their Networking, Public Speaking, and Presentation Skills.

They do this because they know: Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

They also know: We perceive really great speakers to be Experts. Perception is reality, and we like to work with Experts.

He shows them how to: Develop, Practice, and Deliver ‘Knock Your Socks Off Presentations!’ with – NO SWEAT!


  1. Keynote Speaker

  2. Workshop Facilitator

  3. Breakout Sessions

  4. Public Speaking and Presentation Coaching


  1. Lessening The Fear of Public Speaking with – NO SWEAT!

  2. Crafting Your Elevator Speech, Floor by Floor with – NO SWEAT!

  3. Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

  4. We are All Self-Employed!

314-517-8772 Connect/Follow me: FaceBook LinkedIn Twitter YouTube

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