Persuasion is a skill—one that not only requires excellent communication skills, but a good command of the language, too. Seizing the chance presented by the National Talk in an Elevator Day, we present the ‘Elevator Pitch’, a fluency activity that will get even the most hesitant among your students to talk.
What is an ‘Elevator Pitch’?
How long does an elevator ride last? This is the time you have to persuade someone about something. It can be a product, a service, a project, or even yourself and it should last no more than 3 minutes! Typically, the first step is to introduce yourself, and then present to your listener your idea and the value of it. The speaker should be brief and concise, but at the same time explanatory.
Looking for more communicative activities? Find more here!
Topic: Elevator Pitch
Level: A2+ and above
Time: Approximately 45-50 minutes
1. Enhance students’ persuasion and public speaking skills with game-like activities.
2. Encourage students’ creativity and flexibility.
3. Familiarise students with communicating in real-life contexts.
4. Encourage students’ self-esteem.
1. Begin with some warm-up questions.
Introduce the topic by asking questions such as ‘What do you have to do when you need to persuade someone about something?’, ‘Why is it important to improve your persuasion skills?’, ‘Do you feel comfortable when presenting yourself among others?’ or ‘What is the hardest part when you have to persuade someone about something?’.
2. Elicit the definition from your students.
You can ask them questions like:
– How long do you think a lift ride lasts?
– What do you think a pitch is?
– How much time do you think an elevator pitch should last?
– Why do you think that elevator pitch is important in real life?
3. Provide your students with the relevant vocabulary and key phrases.
Some useful questions to help your students organise and structure their pitch are:
– Who am I? / What do I do?
– What are the key elements of my idea?
– What are the benefits of my idea?
– What is my goal? How can I explain it simply?
– What is the desired outcome?
4. Brainstorm in groups.
Give students time to create the context of their pitch. Below you may also find three scenarios to help them choose from:
You are a student and you are in the same elevator with your headmaster. After presenting yourself, try to convince him to visit an Art Museum, on the occasion of the International Museum Day.
You are a PE teacher and you are in the same elevator with the headmaster of your school. After presenting yourself, try to convince him to increase the hours of teaching PE to all classes, from 4 hours to 5 hours per week.
You are Superman or Wonder Woman and you try to convince Batman to learn how to fly, so he does not need to take the elevator.
5. Action time!
Once the preparation is over, students from different teams are asked to split up in pairs and give their pitch. It is important that the listener keeps time when the other is speaking.
The students should evaluate each other. Here are some useful evaluation criteria to think about:
– Did your partner look at you while speaking?
– Did your partner speak clearly?
– Did your partner present him/herself accurately?
– Was your partner convincing?
When the activity is finished, ask your students questions like the following:
– Would you try it in real life?
– Did you feel comfortable presenting yourself?
– What would you do differently?
– What was one thing you believe you did well?
– Do you believe first impressions are important?