ATA

Client Outreach Skills Modules

Find a Translator or Interpreter
Search for:

Client Outreach Skills Modules

Writing and Delivering an Elevator Speech


An elevator speech is a brief summary of who you are and what you offer as a professional – so called because it is concise enough to be delivered during a 30- to 60-second elevator ride. Here’s an example:

Hi, my work makes your business shine in Spanish. My name is Maria Translator and I am the owner of XXX. I specialize in transferring English business materials into clear, readable Spanish to help you reach your target audience.

A good elevator speech is no more than 90 words long — a concise paragraph in which every word matters. It’s your "thirty seconds in the sun" — your personal PR message. Having a concise, readymade introduction for yourself is particularly useful if you’re asked to introduce yourself to a group at a business gathering, but it’s also useful at networking events, dinner parties, at the bus stop, on airplanes, and any other encounter when you only have a few seconds to make a connection.

To draft an effective elevator speech:

  • Focus on what will interest the kind of client you want: this includes your language combinations, your areas of expertise, and a brief sketch of your clientele.
  • Include something memorable about you that is easy to recall.
  • Avoid mentioning academic degrees, daily output, hourly or per-word rates and CAT tools. Why?
  • Don’t worry about making it perfect: write the best imperfect elevator speech you can, and start using it. You’ll quickly identify what’s missing, what works for you and what doesn’t. And you can always tinker with it later.

To deliver it well:

  • Practice it so that you can say it smoothly and easily in any situation. There are lots of opportunities to practice: in your car on the way to a networking event; in the shower; over a hot stove; during a stroll in the park.
  • Rehearse your elevator speech to an advisor, friend, or family member and ask for feedback on your delivery.