Share Your Elevator Speech and Win a Nook

We have all heard about creating that all important elevator speech on the benefits of the library to institutional power players and others.  Having a quick little speech is also helpful in regular social situations, being able to tell a person you just met at a party what you do without having their eyes glaze over or hearing another joke about the Dewey Decimal System is a nice thing.   Your speech has got to be quick and to the point, yet convey a whole lot of meaning, because people are busy and they don’t have time to hear you wax poetically about the finer points of MeSH (plus we are probably the only people who know and care that MeSH is Medical Subject Headings not a woven fabric).

Well the folks from the Cancer Librarians Section have created a video contest to showcase “tried and true” elevator speeches. 

Check out the details below (from MLANet).

To encourage participation of those librarians who may or may not be able to attend MLA ’11, the program will include video submissions. While public services, reference, clinical medical librarians, informationists, library directors/managers, and other frontline people may be those who might normally use an “elevator speech,” think about ways you might send out a consistent message when answering questions on budgets, access issues, and anything else. Let those viewing the submissions know how well your message works!

Videos submission will be accepted until February 11, 2011.

A peer-review panel will judge the videos. The top nine videos submitted will be shown during the program session. All submitted videos that meet the length requirement will be available after the conference on the Cancer Librarians Section YouTube Channel. 

What will determine the top nine?      

  • Technical requirements (good lighting and sound, length requirements met)
  • Content
  • Originality

At the program session, those attending will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite three videos. A combination of the peer review ranking score and the program session participation votes will determine three prizes that will be delivered after the meeting. Certificates of participation will be given to all those who submit a video that meets video guidelines. 

  • First Prize: Barnes and Noble NOOKcolor
  • Second Prize: Barnes and Noble $50 gift card
  • Third Prize: Barnes and Noble $25 gift card

To submit a video complete the form and then email your video. If the form is not completed, then the video cannot be loaded to the mlacls2011 channel (due to legal issues). Videos must be received and the form completed by February 11, 2011.

Video Guidelines

Videos must be no longer than three minutes. Elevator speeches should be no more than 30–60 seconds of the video. Spend the remaining time quickly describing the reception of your elevator speech. Videos must be in Apple QuickTime Movie .mov, AVI Format .avi, Windows Media Format .wmv, or MPEG Format .mpg or .mpeg formats. You can film your elevator speech and comments on your iPhone or other mobile device. Informal videos are fine but please ensure that there is adequate lighting and that you are clearly audible on the video. Videos over three minutes will not be reviewed for inclusion in either the 2011 MLA Cancer Librarians Program session or the Cancer Librarians YouTube Channel after MLA.

We encourage larger libraries with many hospital and other smaller libraries around to host a Recording Day. University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is encouraging librarians to bring their speeches and reflections to their research medical library on January 14, 2011. They will record the videos and give a copy of the video to the person. That individual will have to actually submit the video. However, keep in mind that the videos do not need to be studio productions.  Good lighting and sound and meeting the other guidelines are the only technical requirements. The speech and how the message was received are the more important parts of the video judging criteria.

Interested in learning more about revitalizing your message?  Explore the resources on elevator speeches bookmarked at These resources include tools for creating an elevator speech and the positive and negative reasons for using an elevator speech.  

Want to see an elevator speech? View Julie Esparza’s elevator speech. She uses this message when new faculty, residents and medical students join the internal medicine team each month. If you have any questions feel free to contact Stephanie Fulton, chair-elect and program planner for the Cancer Librarians Section Program.

So whip out those flip cams and upload your video to YouTube, you just might be able to score yourself a Nook while helping other librarians.

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