Message Modules – How To Use Your Elevator Pitch as the Building Block for Stronger Content

Nancy E. Schwartz

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I've frequently written about your elevator pitch, the 30-second opportunity you have to tell – and sell – your nonprofit's or foundation's story in the course of an elevator ride. These key points can also serve as the building blocks of longer presentations or copy. Milo O. Frank, expert on the elevator pitch and author of “How to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or Less, " suggests looking at each of the points in an extended presentation or copy as individual 30-second messages.

"During the two, three, five, or ten minutes that your presentation lasts or a reader scans your copy, you'll have an opportunity to ask – and answer – several provocative questions, paint more than one picture, use more than one personal anecdote or experience. The strategies that kept your listener alert and interested in your 30-second message will achieve the same effect in a longer speech, " advises Frank.

Frank's idea is simple but innovative. I'm in the midst of experimenting with this technique for a current client. I've nicknamed this approach “message modules" and promise to keep you posted.

Want to know more about message modules? Take a look at Frank's book, “How to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or Less. "

Business communications consultant Frank has created the ideal guide to perfecting your organization's message in our era of information inundation. According to Frank, you can get your point across in 30 seconds. Media research proves it. Television commercials capitalize on it (sadly). People are only able to give their full, undivided attention in 30 second “bites" that equal the typical attention span.

Working within this timeframe, Frank's handbook guides you through getting your audiences’ attention, engaging them and motivating them to take the desired action. Putting the techniques Frank outlines into play will challenge you to strengthen your nonprofit's or foundation's core messages. And a laser-sharp pitch is an absolute necessity in these challenging times.

You'll find Frank's guide equally useful as a training tool or resource for your colleagues - writers, fundraisers and public speakers.

Nancy E. Schwartz helps nonprofits succeed through effective marketing and communications.

Subscribe to her free e-newsletter “Getting Attention, " at and read her blog at for more insights, ideas and great tips on attracting the attention your organization deserves.


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