Getting Your Privacy Point Across

Sometimes we only have a few minutes (or less) to create enough interest for the conversation to continue. Creating a succinct elevator speech can go a long way in getting and keeping attention while quickly summarizing the idea or argument you are trying to convey. It should be interesting and concise. Ideally, it should also be memorable so your message is not forgotten. Here’s a quick way to create an elevator speech:

  • Determine your goal. What is the end goal of this brief conversation?
  • Consider including a talking point (like those listed in the previous section) that will grab their attention.
  • Summarize your argument or the point you are trying to make in as short a way as possible
  • End with what you believe to be the solution and possibly how you can help them get there. 
  • You may also want to include a “next step” so there’s a clear next action.


An elevator speech is a short description that communicates a concept or idea in a way that a listener can understand it in a short period of time.

The Elevator Speech for Researchers page and the video above are good examples of preparing for your elevator speech.



Use the talking points provided, or create your own, to write an elevator speech for your targeted group or individual.

Let’s say
you’re looking to get in front of a board or campus assessment committee making a decision on a new analytics tool. You have just a few minutes with one of the members of the board or committee. Your goal is to convince this person that you have privacy concerns and would like to address the larger group to further the discussion on this product.

You might say
“I know you and the board are deciding on product X for the library. There’s some privacy concerns for our users with that product. Did you know research shows being tracked makes people self-censor? Libraries are one of the few places left where we allow freedom of thought, uncensored. In fact, it’s part of the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights that we advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information. I know this is a complex issue and I would love to present this perspective to the board/committee for consideration.”