How to do an elevator pitch that will win you friends, admirers and maybe even funding

  • Communications Director, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
      Kevin McCormack is the Communications Director at CIRM, the state's stem cell agency. He considers himself to be the official translator for the agency, working to turn complex language about equally complex science into everyday English that anyone can understand. Before joining the agency he spent more than 20 years working as a journalist, most of that in TV news in San Francisco.


    How often are you asked what you do and when you start to explain you see the person you are talking to start to twitch, their eyes glaze over and they are desperately trying not to check their phone for something more interesting. One way to avoid that is to have an “elevator pitch” explanation ready. This is simply a plain English, well-rehearsed explanation about what you do, why it’s important and why people should care. It sounds easy but it’s not. This brief section will explain the key things you need to keep in mind when developing an “elevator pitch” and the things you definitely need to avoid.

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