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Your elevator speech is the one-minute explanation of who you are, what your agency is, and what you do. It’s called an elevator speech because you need to be able to explain your organization and services in the time you have between floors on an elevator ride.

Elevator speeches have been a tool salespeople and executives have used for a long time. Most often, it’s used in person when meeting anybody and everybody. However, your elevator speech is NOT something that should only be used when meeting people face-to-face.

For recruiters who spend a great deal of time on the telephone, the elevator speech should be tailored for use on the phone with every new prospect, candidate, or client. So, even if you don’t meet clients in public, go to trade shows, go to career fairs, or otherwise work face-to-face, you still need a good elevator speech.

So, what is your speech?

The first step in creating your elevator speech is to make sure that you have some type of plan. All that really means is that you know what you’re trying to accomplish every time you use the speech.

Consider how your elevator speech fits in with your overall agency image. How does it relate to the image that you want to present?

There are two key components that are necessary in any elevator speech:

#1—Description of your agency and its services

This is where you concisely define what your agency does. Don’t waste time saying things like, “We are an industry leader.” Just get right to what you do and say it plainly. Explain what you do and a little bit about how you do it better than your average competitor.

#2—Who you are

Talk about your experience and your expertise. Remember, the person you’re talking to is more likely to remember you, the person, rather than the organization for which you work, so make this the part of the speech that stands out.

Use examples of your successes to illustrate the services that you and your agency provide. This is where you can include some “sizzle” to spice up your message. But remember: you have less than a minute to say it all.

Below is an example of a good elevator speech:

“XYZ Recruiting Inc., is a professional employment search agency. We work primarily with companies in the Biotechnology industry that have 150 employees or fewer to provide them with superstar employees. Our services start with helping our clients develop strong job descriptions and progress throughout the search process to find, interview, and qualify the most talented and skilled people available and help our clients hire them. The process of finding and hiring highly skilled people is different with every client we work with, and we pride ourselves on providing services tailored to each employer. I’m the owner of the agency and have been a professional recruiter for the past 15 years. During that time, I’ve successfully located and placed more than 200 highly talented and motivated employees with industry-leading employers like Biodyne and Procor.”

Now that you have a first draft of your elevator speech completed, you need to review it. Distill your message down as far as you can, so that you have the clearest message possible. Make sure your message is memorable by including some kind of “hook.”

The element that makes your elevator speech compelling is your passion. It’s the manner in which you deliver your message. So practice and even edit your speech until you can comfortably deliver your entire message in less than one minute with passion, confidence, and control.

Once you’re comfortable with the message, start using it with every new person you meet in person and on the phone. A few slight tweaks to the message will allow you to use similar messages with both clients and candidates.