location_city Washington schedule Oct 15th 01:00 - 01:10 PM place Ballroom D people 6 Interested
What would you do if you overhear negative conversations about change in your organization?
We are starting a movement to switch conversations, about change, from negative to hopeful, by acting in the moment. We will teach you a simple technique*, called “The Elevator Switch”, to help you further transformational changes within your organization.
*Elevator not required to use this technique

Outline/Structure of the Lightning Talk

Note: This is a fully developed concept and lightning talk that has been presented twice previously in ~ 8 minutes. We will frame the problem and provide a solution that the audience can use within the allotted 10 minutes.

Setting the stage with a concept we are all familiar with

  • Define the Elevator Pitch - a short persuasive speech, used to spark interest in something.

Define the problem

  • What happens when the Elevator Pitch goes something like this?
    • Skit to introduce “The Elevator Glitch”
      • Scene Info
        • Skit is set in an Elevator (using images on slides for scenery).
        • We (Megan and Jim) act out the skit, on a different part of the stage than where we are speaking during the other parts of the presentation.
      • Skit overview
        • Megan is excited about a change announced in a “big meeting”
        • Jim responds negatively, and spends a few seconds bashing the change
        • Megan is discouraged. Visibly, she shrinks inward and verbally expresses “I guess you’re right. I shouldn’t get my hopes up.”
  • Explain “The Elevator Glitch”
    • Define Elevator Glitch - when the elevator pitch turns negative and dampens attempts to make a positive change
      • Can happen anywhere, not just in the elevator
      • Happens more than you might think
        • I’m guilty of participating in the elevator glitch, in a previous role, before I became a change agent.
    • Ask Audience: How many of you have witnessed the Elevator Glitch before?

Technique to combat the problem

  • What can be done to combat the Elevator Glitch? Let’s rewind and see what happens
    • Skit to introduce “The Elevator Switch”
      • Scene – same as the previous skit
      • Skit Overview
        • Megan is excited about a change announced in a “big meeting”
        • Jim responds negatively, and spends a few seconds bashing the change
        • Megan asks Jim “What would it feel like if this change has already happened and the change is working?”
        • Jim pauses to think and becomes visibly hopeful
        • Jim responds positively, now that he’s imagined a positive outcome.
  • Explain the technique behind “The Elevator Switch”
    • Ask a question to get the nay-sayer to imagine the change has already happened
      • “What would it feel like if this change has already happened and it’s working?”
    • This simple technique introduces the opportunity for the nay-sayer to imagine a positive outcome, and bring hope to the conversation
    • The Elevator Switch is something you can do!
      • You can replace generic terms (this change and it’s working) with specifics on the change being discussed
      • Using the phrase “feel like” or “look like” in your question, helps to transport the nay-sayer to the imagined outcome
  • Call to action – Join “The Elevator Switch” movement
    • Remember the Elevator Glitch can happen anywhere, not just in the elevator
    • Be on the lookout to pull the switch
    • Now you know how to turn a conversation from negative to hopeful
    • We have a Challenge for you!
      • The next time you overhear anyone speaking negatively, about positive changes in your organization, join the Elevator Switch Movement. Switch the conversation to hopeful. It’s better than remaining silent

Learning Outcome

Participants will be able to switch conversations, about change, from negative to hopeful, by using “The Elevator Switch”

Target Audience

Anyone trying to advance positive change

Prerequisites for Attendees


schedule Submitted 1 year ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker
  • George Dinwiddie
    By George Dinwiddie  ~  1 year ago
    reply Reply

    The problem statement, "a small group of people, bashing positive changes within your organization" seems like a very small niche. Are there other situations where this is useful?

    The terms “The Elevator Glitch” and “The Elevator Switch” are unknown to the review committee. Without understanding your message, it's hard to include your talk.

    The outline/structure is the place where you sell your session to the reviewers. Help them recognize that you'll deliver on your abstract. Give them details about the content and the way that you'll present it to convince them that you'll do a good job.

    See also https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1028714041349263360.html for an independent description of submitting a successful proposal.

    • Megan Windle
      By Megan Windle  ~  1 year ago
      reply Reply

      Updates complete.  Thanks!

    • Megan Windle
      By Megan Windle  ~  1 year ago
      reply Reply

      Thanks for the feedback and article.  I'll add more detail this weekend.

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