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"If only all my one-hour meetings were so productive."

Priya JayachandranCEO, National Housing Trust

"This one-hour session was more impactful than weeks I have spent in other communications trainings."

Dan NissenbaumCEO, Low Income Investment Fund

"In a short hour I went from a decent pitch to a targeted, clear, well focused ask."

Joshua GinsbergPresident, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Browse more than 100 testimonials.

What We Do

We help you communicate in situations that are important to you, for example, when you want to persuade a potential funder, client, or partner. Because of our framework-based approach, just one training hour produces results. We coach by video call, so all you need is a computer and a quiet place.

Speak Effectively

Convince with ease.

Create urgency.

Reduce complexity.

Instill confidence.

Prompt action.

Succeed in Interviews

Be ready for prime time.

Deflect difficult questions.

Stay on message.

Perfect your body language.

Know interview ground rules.

 Think Out Loud Together

Test-drive different messages.

Get rapid-response input.

Rehearse conversations.

Count on candid reactions.

Depend on confidentiality.

Have a Method

Our proprietary Elevator Speech Framework informs every coaching session with a methodical approach to sharpening your narrative.

Marc Fest

“The video call medium is  well suited for this kind of training because it creates a private space in which participants can step outside their comfort zones and test-drive new approaches to getting their messages across.”

Marc Fest, Founder, Elevator Speech Training

“My grantees loved this training.”

Geri Mannion, Program Director, Carnegie Corporation of New York

Trusted to coach staff, partners and grantees by clients like these:



Our story

Before he sees his first client, at the beginning of each day, Fest takes his Belgian Shepherd dog Zeus out for a bike ride on the deserted dirt road that leads to his remote and flood-prone property on the edge of the South Florida Everglades. The long ride and the…
July 22, 2020

Happy Face Awareness

A client the other day requested a whole elevator speech training session focused on learning how to have a positive facial expression during a TV interview. Watch this video about one of the key takeaways from that session.
May 10, 2020

We now have a 501(c)(3) arm through NEO Philanthropy

Elevator Speech Training now has a 501(c)(3) arm through NEO Philanthropy, a New York-based 30-year-old nonprofit rated four stars by Charity Navigator. Launched in 1983 as Public Interest Projects (PIP), NEO Philanthropy is a 501(c)(3) public charity. NEO brings together and strengthens the work of philanthropic institutions, nonprofit groups and…
April 30, 2020
quick thought

Training in the times of a pandemic

Hello there. Marc Fest here, the founder of Elevator Speech Training. I hope this finds you well. When the virus hit, I didn't quite know what the impact would be on offering this training. Would people be too stressed out to want to do it? Would it be a welcome…
April 30, 2020
quarterly update

How to talk about yourself. But not too much.

This quarter's update focuses on a small but meaningful improvement to the Elevator Speech Framework that every training session is based on. I’ve called this most recent modification the "More Transition" because the word "more" plays an important role in it. Here is how it works: Almost at the end…
March 8, 2020
quarterly update

New tool to check for clarity

Please check out our new readability analyzer. You can paste any text into it, and the tool will color-code each sentence according to how easy it is to understand. You can spot potential problem sentences at a glance. Green means easy, and Red means difficult. If you see a red…
March 8, 2020
quarterly update

On the role of social status

If you’re in the mood to read an interesting book on elevator speech making, I recommend “Pitch Anything” by Oren Klaff. If you watch some interviews with Klaff on Youtube, you can tell that he is a pretty alpha Wall Street type of guy. Sure enough, what makes his approach unique is the emphasis on…
March 8, 2020

Elevator Speech Training is a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsorship project of NEO Philanthropy.