Writing an Elevator Speech

If your position has been affected or feel as though it will be, please send an email to our Awareness Co-Chairs, Karen Abraham and Kim Palmer, at awareness@nhslma.org. 

How many times have you had someone tell you that they do not see the point in having a library since everything is online now (or some version of this statement)? Having an elevator speech in your mind is an important advocacy tool for every school librarian to have at their disposal for times such as that to explain quickly and efficiently what you do. What is an elevator speech or pitch? As defined by Cambridge Dictionary, an elevator pitch is an short but effective explanation that is intended to persuade someone to accept an idea. 

After reviewing multiple resources, here are some key takeaways to keep in mind when writing your own elevator speech:

  1. Know Your Audience: are you writing it to be told to any teacher, your administrators, or school board?
  2. Be Specific: what do YOU bring to your school?
  3. Lead with Information Your Audience May Not Know: see above about defining your audience to know what information this would be
  4. Include the Value YOU Add to Your School/District: how is your role unique or what niche do you fulfill?
  5. Include Positive Value/Impact of Your Role: have you been teaching research skills or have teachers commented their students' assignment is a better quality after working with you directly or a resource you created?

Using ALA's Office for Advocacy's infographic to the left, you can create an elevator pitch that highlights what you do in your school's library on a daily basis. If you click on this link, it will take you to a PDF that breaks down crafting one using the infographic by giving examples for each prompt. Including the Infographic to the left, here are additional elevator speeches that are targeted around ESSA: Every Student Succeeds Act.

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