Assignment: Oral Communication – Elevator Speech (Information for Faculty & Staff)

Canvas Information

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Assignment Outcomes

For this assignment, students are asked to:

  • Learn what an elevator speech is and when it’s used
  • Write a 30-second elevator speech
  • Practice their elevator speech until it feels natural
  • Demonstrate comprehension by completing an assessment activity for their elevator speech

Assignment Overview

The purpose of this assignment is to help students develop or refine their elevator speech. An elevator speech is a brief, persuasive speech that is used to spark interest in yourself. A good speech should last no longer than a short elevator ride of approximately 30 seconds, hence the name. It should be interesting, memorable, and succinct. Students can use their elevator speech to introduce themselves to prospective employers at a career fair and in other networking situations. The assignment information for students includes:

1. Introduction: An explanation of an elevator speech and when it is used are provided. Students are asked to watch two videos to get an employer’s perspective about an elevator speech:

2. Steps to Writing an Elevator Speech: The basics steps for writing an elevator speech and a template are provided to help students get started. They are asked to watch a video for tips on how to improve their elevator speech and make it more interesting.

3. Practice Your Elevator Speech: Suggestions for practicing and improving the elevator speech are provided.

Assessment Options

An assessment is optional, but requiring an assessment will help students improve their elevator speech. The best assessment activity will depend on the setting and how the assignment is used. The Grading Rubric (provided) can be used by faculty, staff or peers to provide a more formal assessment. Assessment options and instructions that can be provided to students include:

  1. Deliver your elevator speech to another student in the class (or other group) and ask for constructive feedback. Take notes about the feedback you receive so you can use it to improve your speech. (The Grading Rubric can be used by a classmate or peer to formally assess the elevator speech.)
  2. Deliver your elevator speech to a roommate, friend or family member. Ask for constructive feedback and take notes so you can use the feedback to improve your speech.
  3. Create a video (using a phone or other device with a camera) of yourself delivering your elevator speech to a hypothetical prospective employer and submit the video for evaluation by uploading it to Canvas or submitting it by email. (The Grading Rubric can be used to formally assess the elevator speech.)
  4. Submit your elevator speech in writing. (The Grading Rubric can be used to formally assess the elevator speech.)