#SLAChat: Your 140-Character or Less Elevator Speech

It's always good to have an elevator speech ready, one that communicates your professional value in easy-to-understand language.

What would yours be, if you had to keep it under 140 characters? Practice a few below.

That is one short elevator ride.

15 responses to “#SLAChat: Your 140-Character or Less Elevator Speech”

  1. One of the things to remember is that an elevator speech isn’t really a speech at all – it’s a conversation. I like the twitter analogy – the elevator platform has been replaced with the social platform! If you want to know how to create a modern elevator speech – not some outdated sales pitch or memorized monologue – check out http://thenewelevatorpitch.com

  2. I agree that having some phrases or sentences, for a more natural conversation, is better than an artificial prepared ‘speech’. Having good off the cuff remarks is hard, though, so preparing a few things to say in advance isn’t a bad idea.
    I’ve written some more about elevator pitches here http://bit.ly/Lsfkvz, which people might find useful.

  3. Ruth Kneale says:

    I tend to start off with “We (special librarians) can do anything you think librarians can do, plus a lot of things you don’t.” That has led to some very interesting conversations!

  4. I like to keep it very simple. Something like, “Hi, I’m a librarian here at the firm. Come visit us on the 4th floor or look up our page on the Intranet. We’re here to help you.” Sometimes, people need to be reminded that there’s a library. I think it’s more effective to keep it personal, e.g. I’m YOUR librarian here at YOUR firm. I’m here to help YOU. I don’t think non-librarians care about our profession in the wider sense, like we do. Tell the person how you can help them as an individual.

  5. John Walsh says:

    @Batty_Towers wrote an elevator (or “lift”) speech for SLA:
    “SLA is org for people working in places you never knew had an information service let alone a professional librarian.”
    That’ll be helpful for SLA staff members explaining the Association to others!

  6. I have been mulling this over. My “elevator speeches” are typically content-oriented. My field (patient safety) has lots of provocative ideas from which to initiate conversations. The folding in of the evidence, info, knowledge angle and how librarians play a role in that usually materializes in a second or third conversation.

  7. Lynn Strand says:

    “I’m the one that sends out the Weekly Intelligence Update. Let me know when you need industry, market or competitive intelligence research. I’m here to help.”

  8. Amy Affelt says:

    “We prove the points you need to make, read the news so you don’t have to, and get you up-to-speed quickly with rock-solid research from highly credible sources.”

  9. John Walsh says:

    From Caren Rabinowitz via SLA’s LinkedIn Group: “A librarian is a customer service representative who will answer almost any question (except what’s for dinner tonight) and you won’t get annoying music on hold”

  10. John Walsh says:

    Also from the SLA LinkedIn Group (this one from Janet Nelson): “librarians don’t have to have all the answers, they just know where to find them.”

  11. Katharine Holden says:

    “I’m a communications officer. I translate government English into average-person English.”
    50 characters left.

  12. John Walsh says:

    A great one for cataloging librarians (also from the SLA LinkedIn group):
    “A cataloger is a map-maker. We help you find the buried treasures in the collection.” – Christi M. Underdown-DuBois

  13. Lisa Sewell says:

    Hi, My name is Lisa, I’m a Librarian…I find things Google can’t. AND I can teach you how to effectively navigate, evaluate, and retrieve the information you need.

  14. mebs says:

    “I’m the one who ensures that strategic decisions are informed decisions.”
    Also, my new fave for answering the “Why can’t I just Google that research?” is
    Info pros are to Google what a brain surgeon is to an 8th grade biology teacher. Each is great at what it does best. A brain surgeon is probably not an effective teacher of 8th graders, I don’t want my brain worked on by an 8th grade biology teacher, and I wouldn’t rely solely on Google for any decision that matters.
    -Mary Ellen Bates

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