Marcia Yudkin suggests this template for your elevator speech: "I specialize in helping ___ (who?) who have ___ (what problem?) get ___ (what result?)" (from (Marcia's Mantras, a nanozine) This echoes a theme in Roar! Get Heard in the Sales and Marketing Jungle: A Business Fable
by Kevin Daum, a sample of which you can download at http://kevindaum.com/
The marketing message, says Daum, is PAIN, SOLUTION, BEST PROVIDER:
The Pain We Solve
The Best Solution:
Why We Are the Best Solution Provider (boil this down to THREE main things not that you value but that a potential client would).
* Recognize the type (he names four type of customers: The wise buyer, the cynical buyer, the simple buyer, the disinterested buyer)
* Observe from their perspective
* Acknowledge concerns
* Resolve needs.
His sampler is one of the most persuasive book promotions I've experienced (sensible tips wrapped in an engaging story). I ordered the book!
P.S. Your elevator speech is the self-description you have prepared for when you have only seconds to make clear what you do.
• Power up your Pitches: 13 Fully-Critiqued Queries to Help your Freelance Success (Kelly James-Enger, Dollars and Deadlines, 8-4-13)
• 5 Steps to Writing a Killer Elevator Pitch for Your Book (Jennie Nash, BookBub Partners Blog, 5-28-15) Being able to succinctly summarize your book in a very short space is a skill every writer must master. If it's fiction or memoir, try to capture what the story is about; if it's nonfiction "(business, self-help, inspiration, how-to), try to capture what the reader will learn and what your main point is." What world or philosophical mindset they will be immersed in.
• The Elevator Pitch (Chris Van Dusen, excellent 44-minute talk at UC Irvine on how to present your story in the most effective manner). What you offer that no one else does, presented succinctly, honed to what's in it for the person you're pitching to, what problem you provide a solution for--as an opener for a conversation (and be sure to get THEIR business card).
• How to Craft a Killer Elevator Pitch that Will Land You Big Business (Dumb Little Man)
• The Art of the Pitch (a whole section of its own)
---How to pitch a magazine or newspaper piece
---How to pitch a novel or memoir
---Pitch slams and pitch wars
Bottom line: Pitch stories, not topics. Don't take rejection personally.