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Small Message, Big Impact: How to Put the Power of the Elevator Speech Effect to Work for You Hardcover – June 1, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Based on seven years of reporting from over a dozen countries, writer Tom Wainwright takes you on an extraordinary journey into the business of being a drug lord. Learn more.

Editorial Reviews


''... Small Message, Big Impact is an insightful yet practical book that addresses the growing challenge of communicating a vitally important message in a very short time period. If your job depends on persuading others, you'll find yourself inhaling the contents and breathing easier because your message will have more traction and you'll persuade more people to take purposeful action.'' --Gerhard Gschwandtner, founder and publisher, Selling Power Magazine

''Recognizing the importance of being an effective communicator, Small Message, Big Impact is an easy-to-read, easy-to apply how-to guide for making a positive first impression and communicating with impact.'' --Cathy McMorris Rodgers, U.S. Congresswoman (WA-05)

''...This book is the definitive how-to for the all-important three minutes that will help get your foot in the door. It will show you how to take your elevator speech from the ground floor all the way to the top!'' --Harvey Mackay, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive

''Whether you're advocating for a community cause or pitching a business idea, Terri's creative tools provide a framework for speaking with clarity and confidence while making it easy to envision the impact of a well-designed elevator speech for the right effect.'' --Andrea Reno, director of special projects, YMCA of the USA

''Small Message, Big Impact absolutely helped me organize my thoughts around a new umbrella brand that we're developing. Interesting how the principles from the elevator speech can be transferred to a much bigger context.'' ----Joe Calloway, author, Becoming a Category of One

About the Author

Terri Sjodin is the principal and founder of Sjodin Communications, a public speaking, sales training and consulting firm. For over twenty years, Terri has served as a speaker and consultant to an impressive list of companies, industry associations, academic conferences, CEO's, and Members of the United States Congress. She is the author of New Sales Speak: The 9 Biggest Sales Presentation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them (Wiley). Terri lives in Newport Beach, CA

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press; First Edition edition (June 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781608321308
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608321308
  • ASIN: 1608321304
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #656,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Terri Sjodin is the principal and founder of Sjodin Communications.

She is one of America's most highly sought after female speakers and has trained and motivated thousands of people from all over the world. Her unique specialization is advancing the persuasive presentation skills of professionals. She is the author of the national bestselling book, Small Message, Big Impact (Penguin/Portfolio), which hit the New York Times' Hardcover Advice & Misc. bestseller list, Wall Street Journal Hardcover Business bestseller list, and USA Today Money bestseller list.

She is also the author of the highly acclaimed books, "NEW SALES SPEAK - The 9 Biggest Sales Presentation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them" (John Wiley & Sons), and co-author of Mentoring - A Success Guide for Mentors and Protégés, co-written with Floyd Wickman (McGraw-Hill).

Over 20 years ago, Terri went into business for herself, building Sjodin Communications in Orange County, CA from a spare room in her home. Today, Terri's clients include an impressive list of Fortune 500 companies, industry associations, and academic conferences. Her consulting practice has taken her from her house, to the US House of Representatives, where she has served as a keynote speaker for the US House of Representatives GOP Retreat addressing approximately 235 Congressmen and Women. This has led to additional invitations to present and coach leadership on The Hill including the House Republican Press Secretary Conference, the prestigious Heritage Foundation Resource Bank event, and the House GOP Retreat in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

In July of 2012, Terri was inducted into the NSA Speaker Hall of Fame. Admission into the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame is a lifetime award for speaking excellence and professionalism. Inductees are evaluated by their peers through a rigorous and demanding process. Each candidate must excel in seven categories: material, style, experience, delivery, image, professionalism and communication.

In June of 2007, Terri was named one of the top five Women in Business by the Orange County Business Journal at the distinguished WIB awards. This award is presented in recognition of exceptional professional accomplishments, including business success, contributions to industry, and the Orange County community.

Beyond her success as an entrepreneur and author, Terri is a frequent guest on radio and television talk shows throughout the country appearing on CNN, CNBC, and many major network affiliates from ABC, CBS, and NBC, FOX, cable and radio.

In August of 1999, Terri received the prestigious CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) designation. Less than 7% of the 5,000 speakers who belong to the International Federation for Professional Speakers hold this professional designation.

Terri serves on the Orange County Board of Trustees for Olive Crest. Olive Crest is dedicated to preventing child abuse, to treating and educating at-risk children and to preserving the family one life at a time.

Terri graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Speech Communication. Before forming her own company, Terri was a top sales producer with both The Achievement Group and Resource Dynamics.

Her combination of academic communication theory, field research, and practical street sales experience collected during thousands of coast-to-coast business presentations cast Terri in the leading role of advising today's professionals on becoming more polished, persuasive presenters and adapting to the changing marketplace.

Terri is a "high content" speaker - Her approach is fresh, real-world, and her style is sassy and practical. Each presentation is loaded with street-worthy ideas, methods, and tips that men and women can use immediately to get results. Many consider Terri to be today's sales professionals' speech coach.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This author has "cred" - she's done it - on speech and debate teams in high school and college - followed by over 20 years as principal of her own public speaking, training and consulting firm. The book offers a how-to-guide. She starts by explaining why it's important to have a elevator speech to defining your intention, to creating the basic core outline, to building a persuasive case, to bringing the message to life - - to a close which includes frequently asked questions.

Author avoids using manipulation or tricks to accomplish the intention. She uses "Monroe's Motivated Sequence" formula as providing structure to the 3 minute elevator pitch - which means that most people, when presented with a clear challenge will shift into a natural problem solving mode. The sequence contains 5 distinct steps: 1) Gain attention, 2) establish need for change, 3) Satisfy need with a solution, 4) Visualization - project audience into future where they can see themselves enjoying the benefit, 5) Action Step - or close where you tell your audience what you want them to do today.

* Book is full of anecdotes, stories and real life experiences that keep this book lively and readable.

* Each chapter is tightly summarized and transitions nicely to the next. It is well written.

* A number of resources are available to the reader including exercises, templates and web access to additional tools.

I highly recommend this book to readers involved in for-profit and non-for-profit enterprises.

Some memorable passages:

"...life is busier, more crowded, and more competitive. We must earn the opportunity to be heard in today's market...people have little time to spare.
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Format: Hardcover
As someone in the middle of preparation for a meeting with investors, this book was rather timely for me. I read it over the course of an afternoon hoping to glean what I could in order to improve my upcoming presentation, and I was amazed by how quickly I got through it.

This one cuts to the chase right away, and I found myself placing bookmarks and taking notes within minutes of starting the first chapter.

There is a nice mix of personal anecdote and broad takeaways useful for people in any profession, whether seeking VC investments like myself, or a sales person simply looking to score the next appointment.

The author breaks the elevator pitch into a series of 6 key points:

Body (3 Main Points)

and breaks those topics even further into different types of styles and formats, such as how to be creative while still staying on point and keeping your audience engaged.

While I gleaned a lot about pacing and building a solid pitch, it would've been great to see a bit more detail, especially in the form of personal examples, but overall I'm very happy that I was given an opportunity to review this book. My single biggest take away wasn't necessarily how to format a pitch, but how to have an arsenal of pitches at your disposal, ready for use at a moment's notice. I also appreciated that Terri didn't sugarcoat the elevator pitch as an easy home run. It works, but it takes guts, which she certainly has in abundance.
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Format: Hardcover
The title and idea of this book sounded great but it was downhill from there. It's telling that the first chapter with any useful info starts, "I realize this chapter is not very sexy, but it contains important functional material..." For me substance in a business book is sexy. Isn't that the whole point to reading it? It's also missing the skill that good authors have to draw one forward, inspire them to take that next step and do that next exercise.

Don't waste your time or your money on this. Read Michael Port if you're looking help on your elevator pitch, or Dan Kennedy, or sales books... and trust your self... get passionate about what you're doing and share your passion then remember to have a call to action.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is well-written and easy to read. The only problem I have with it is it's focus on a 3 minute elevator speech like a presentation. From my experience, the elevator speech is an attention grabber, 1 minute or less. Longer than that becomes something else.
But there are valuable principles here, that really make you think about the components of the elevator speech, no matter how long it is.
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Format: Hardcover
Especially given the blizzards of communication exchanged electronically in recent years, I agree with Terri L. Sjodin that a "smaller" message not only can but usually does have a "bigger" impact. In fact, there are comparable admonitions such as "think big, act small" (the title of one of Jason Jennings' books), "Swing easy, hit hard" (Julius Boros), and "Less is more" (Robert Browning, in his poem "Andrea del Sarto"). I am also reminded of a bet Ernest Hemingway won in a bar in Paris when he was challenged to write a short story with only six words: "For sale, baby shoes, never worn." Brevity can indeed be, as Shakespeare suggests, "the soul of wit." It can also penetrate clutter and eliminate ambiguity.

Sjodin organizes and presents her material within 12 brief chapters and, while doing so, demonstrates how much meaning can be conveyed with both precision and concision. In the last chapter, Chapter 12, she poses and then responds ("with nuggets of advice and answers) to frequently asked questions. She thus shares a wealth of information, insights, and counsel to help each reader to communicate more effectively, whatever the given circumstances -- audience, content, format, strategic objective(s), etc. - may be. During the course of her lively and eloquent narrative, she explains

o How and why "The Elevator Speech + The Butterfly Effect = The Elevator Speech Effect"
o How specifically the Elevator Speech can communicate a small message that could have a large impact
o How to determine, clarify, and then articulate intentions (e.g. strategic objectives)
o How to formulate a basic core outline
o How to make a strong case, use illustrations effectively, and deliver a message with high-impact
o How to build a persuasive case (i.e.
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