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[Review] Small Message, Big Impact


It was the subtitle of the book “Small Message, Big Impact” that hooked me – “How to put the power of the elevator speech effect to work for you”. Author Terri L. Sjodin, founder of public speaking, sales training and consulting firm Sjodin Communications, puts forth in the book a powerful idea she calls the “Elevator Speech Effect” – essentially an application of Edward Lorenz’s Butterfly Effect to the elevator speech – which is a powerful and compelling message that can lead a ripple effect and hence reach a desired outcome. Think of it as the little push that got the ball rolling, or the spark that starts a raging fire. You get the idea.

If you’ve ever had to deliver an elevator speech or a short 5-minute pitch, you’ll know how difficult it is to communicate an idea (and convince someone) in a very short time. Sjodin, who previously authored “New Sales Speak“, brings the reader through the steps of her methodology on how to put together a powerful and compelling message that can be packaged in any medium, such as a deck of presentation slides, or a speech, for example. Her background as a sales training consultant comes into good play – she must have extracted and repackaged many of those lessons here (and provides some useful templates to boot). Various examples help to strengthen – not detract – from her points.

Sjodin points out that the best communicators generally have three traits that sets them apart from the others:

1) They’re able to put together a compelling case,

2) They know how to package their talking points with creativity (Steve Jobs’ ‘And one more thing‘ comes to mind), and

3) Able to present their messages with the correct delivery.

It’s not only about putting a presentations or speech together, however. Sjodin shares with you some common sense about presentations – speaking with your own authentic voice, practicing and evolving your own style, even your body language and how to work a stage.

This is a relatively easy book to go through. If you’re a new entrepreneur (or one in need of funding) that need to pitch to a roomful of investors, “Small Message, Big Impact” is a required read. If you’re a sales or business development person who needs additional tips on how to pitch your product or service to customers, you’ll benefit from this too. Heck, some of the lessons are even useful in helping you craft the perfect pickup line!


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