For those unfamiliar with the term, a promotional speech (or research speech) is a concise and rehearsed statement of who you are and your research interests and experience, intended to be shared informally and orally in various professional contexts. What is the problem you are investigating? Why is it difficult? This doesn't mean that the conversation ends after the presentation, but rather that, in that moment, you continue to discuss the aspects of your presentation that your audience most connects with. It's also important to find the relevant reasons why a potential listener might be interested in your work and include those details accordingly. For example, if you are going to present your research project to a general audience, it's a good idea to define or omit technical or disciplinary terminology.
Doing the exercise of preparing a presentation speech can even be useful in framing your own research and providing guidance for future projects. Returning to the idea that an elevator pitch is a general communication tool, platforms such as LinkedIn, Penn's Handshake or MyPenn offer features that allow you to connect with potential employers and former students. At first, I only thought about setting up individual meetings, but the same promotional pitch could be used to write a convincing summary for a LinkedIn profile. Science is complex, but you'll have to reduce things, simplify your message, simplify your vocabulary, and leave out some details to create an effective proposal.
Instead, use bullet points to help keep the content of your presentation flexible, depending on your audience and time constraints. However, most graduate students receive no instructions on what should be included and how to structure their presentation. Once you have an idea of the audience and the objectives, it makes sense to think about the actual content of your presentation and the message you want to convey. Forklifts are short and to the point, but they also grab your attention and make you want to learn more.
As the name suggests, it is designed to last as long as it takes to have a conversation during an elevator ride. You can further develop your ABT proposal to create something a little longer or, if you're talking to a group of scientists who are probably familiar with your research, use the following template. So that your elevator speech doesn't sound robotic, it's a good idea to memorize the key points of your research instead of a full script. While both serve to present your research and its importance in a concise manner, elevator speeches and summaries differ in format and purpose.