An elevator speech is a quick, concise overview of project or idea. The name reflects the fact that an elevator pitch can be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride (for example, thirty seconds and 100-150 words).
You want to use this technique to provide a general synopsis of your situation and need and deliver it in a manner that will pique someone’s curiosity enough to want to hear more.
When crafting your elevator speech you’ll want to be sure to cover your main points in about 30 second. It is suggested you talk about 10 seconds each on three main points. These should include some variation of the same points in your overall talking points.
- Why you are in need a transplant (what caused your problem)
- How you are doing right now
- Why a transplant will help you
- Where transplanted kidneys come from (waiting list/living donation)
- Most people who are healthy can donate a kidney
Here’s an example of an elevator speech:
It’s hard to tell what’s going on inside someone’s body just by looking at them. In my case, my kidneys are failing. My doctor says they will shut down in the next couple of months. My hope is to get a transplant so I don’t have to go on dialysis, but the waiting list is several years long. Fortunately, living kidney donation is a viable option, but most people aren’t aware of the process. It’s not as popular yet as most people don’t know you can live just fine with one kidney. So I’m doing my best to educate everyone I can.
Obviously what works best for you will be different than anyone else. An effective talk is something that feels comfortable for you and conveys the important parts of where you are in your need for a kidney.
For someone who is speaking on your behalf – an advocate – a message or discussion to inform others can take many forms. Again, it’s got to be something they are comfortable with to be sincere. But like any approach, it needs to cover some of the main points and help educate along the way. Here is sample script from a website called Kidney Kinships which encourages people to learn more and get involved in living kidney donation.
My friend Risa inherited a genetic kidney disease (known as Polycystic Kidney Disease - or PKD) which is rapidly squelching her remaining kidney function. Since PKD has no treatment or cure, Risa only has two options: (1) get a kidney transplant, or (2) spend the rest of her life on dialysis. While transplant is the superior quality-of-life choice, it can be the most challenging with 83,000 people waiting ahead of Risa on the national kidney transplant list.
Sadly, the average wait on this list can be five years - or more. And while I thought I was already doing my part by declaring my intentions to be an organ donor (on the back of my driver’s license), I now see our nation's organ shortage cannot rely on deceased donation alone.
Through living donation, a healthy person can donate one of their kidney's while they are still living! Living donors also allow those in need to circumvent the need for dialysis, (which can be extremely hard on the body). Kidneys from living donors also offer a number of superior benefits, from greater success rates to nearly double the years of function.
Living donors not only help those in need get a healthy "living" kidney (when they need one); they also prevent those in need from getting sicker (or dying) while they wait. I think "living" kidney donors are the "energizer bunnies" of human kindness, as their donation keeps on giving a "daily dose" of life!
...I wish I was (younger/healthier/a different blood-type), so I could donate one of my kidneys. If you were healthy enough to do so, would you ever consider donating one of your kidneys?"
Again, you’ll need to get your main thoughts on paper then do some editing to get your story or letter to the place where it’s comfortable to you. But once you hit that point, you will become more and more confident with every conversation you have.
If you have a story or set of talking points you’d like to share with others, click here to send us an email and we’ll add them to our library so others can see how others are using words and ideas to tell their story.