This short assignment will challenge you to explore how to express an important message (WHY your audience should care about your topic) in a short timeframe. You will be writing an “elevator pitch” to “sell” your intended audience on your topic, its importance, and your purpose.
What is an elevator pitch and how does it work?
These videos present a very basic introduction to the concept of an elevator pitch:
- “6 Elevator Pitches for the 21st Century” by Daniel Pink
- “The Art of the Elevator Speech: Chris Westfall”
- “Elevator Pitch Template with Chris Westfall”
- Identify youraudience to give yourpitch to.
- By definition, your audience is someone who:
- May be interested in the subject but may not have all the facts;
- May be interested in the subject, and have facts that support the opposite perspective;
- May not see how the subject is applicable to them (g. “sure, I think recycling is good, but what difference does it make if I do it?”).
- Who is this person? Imagine an individual who is a representative of your audience: it’s easier to give a speech to a flesh-and-blood person. Since your audience for an academic essay is a scholarly one, you already know two things:
- He or she is educated – in other words, you can expect this person to have a wider world view, an ability to think logically, and a need for proof;
- He or she needs to know why this is important to his or her world, future, life (personally, professionally, or civically). In this respect, a scholarly audience is no different than an audience for any argument: everyone wants to know “what’s in it for me?” or “why should I care?”
III. Craft your pitch – your elevator takes2 minutes to reach the top floor where your audience will exit. Cover these three points:
- “What?”Describe your subject and its parameters to your captive elevator companion. About what do you intend to inform her?
- “How?” Supply your listener with a brief outline: what are your qualifications to make this argument; what are reliable sources you’ve found to back you up; what is a counterargument you will address?
- “Why?” (or, as Chris Westfall says, “So what?”) Your reader wants to know what’s at stake in your claim: why does this subject matter to anyone beside you?
- Your elevator pitch will be approximately 300-500 words. Practice reading aloud to make sure you can accomplish your pitch within 2 minutes.
What form is required when I hand this in?
- A typewritten copy of your pitch in 12-pt font, double-spaced;
- A header identifying your pitch as SA 6: Elevator Pitch
- Identify your elevator companion (your audience for this pitch, who should be a representative of the larger audience for whom you’ll write your argument) by his or her distinguishing features: age, gender, biases for and against your argument.
- Your name