Got your Elevator Talk ready?

I got an email from a student at my school this evening:

I’m supposed to write an article (300~500 words) on your website (http://learnapphysics.com/) regarding your AP physics question of the day. This article is going on the Paw Print. I’d love to have a small meeting or interview with you so I can gather some quotes and more information about your website.

So I guess it’s about time I brush up my Elevator Talk.

You know what an elevator talk is, right? For your business, your website, your project, it’s convenient to have a a brief, pithy, explanation of the thing, something that you can deliver to a complete stranger in 30-seconds or less (the time it takes to share small talk with someone in an elevator who says, “So tell me, what is it you do?”). The idea isn’t merely to summarize what you do, of course, but to intrigue the listener, to impress them even with what it is you or your project do. It’s personal branding, without the hard sell: you’re just making polite conversation.

Here’s the Personal Statement that I included on my resume a couple of years ago when I was applying for my current position: “I am a creative, high-energy teacher who enjoys working with students to develop their interest in the physical sciences. I am especially interested in the potential of using various forms of technology to encourage students’ educational growth.” Not terribly punchy, I’ll admit, but it was okay, back in the day. And I got the job, so…!

This is obviously NOT just about the elevator, is it? It’s about keeping your administrator informed about what’s been happening in the classroom these last few weeks. It’s about convincing Accounting that you really do need to attend that upcoming conference. It’s about making sure that 9th grader gets the details right when they’re putting together that story for the school newspaper.

So… what sound bites should I use for this little interview? What should I tell the journalist about this site? Any ideas? Leave a comment!

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