Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Elevator Speeches

One of the best parts of attending a writers conference is the opportunity to sit one-on-one with editors from different publishing houses. For some, this is too intimidating so they avoid the sign up sheets altogether. For others, it's a challenge to pitch an idea; they live for the moment.

The verbal pitch is often referred to as an "elevator speech." A short thirty second snapshot of your book or magazine idea. Here's some things to consider when drafting out your speech. Know your:

IDEA-what is your book about?

FOCUS-who are you wanting to reach? What audience? Try to narrow it down to something specific than "all Christians." Too generic.

SLANT-what angle will you take? What makes your book different or fresh from what is already on the market?

KEY MESSAGE-what do you want readers to takeaway from your book? Know the felt need.

I've heard an elevator speech should be less than 200 words and memorized. That way you're able to speak with confidence even though you are nervous. Think about the most powerful way to start your speech. Come up with a hook question or idea as your lead sentence.

For those of you who are not ready to pitch your book, I encourage you to still book an appointment, two, or three. Use your appointment to introduce yourself and ask the editor what his/her needs are. Listen. Take notes if you want. Ask questions. Be polite. Thank them for their time. Networking is a huge part of writing. Don't let fear stop you from making new relationships.

Any further thoughts of the dreaded elevator speech, post a comment.

And remember your name will be entered in our two giveaways for January for posting a comment.

(On a side note, in honor of Sanctity of Human Life Week, I wrote my personal experience with abortion. Feel free to read it and share the link with anyone who may benefit. Visit Ungrind.org.)

1 comment:

Beth K. Vogt said...

And why, you might ask, is it called an "elevator speech?" Because an elevator pitch is delivered in the time span of an elevator ride. Say about 30 seconds.