If the opportunity was presented, could you advocate for your program and share the importance of after school with others?

The National After School Association (NAA) posed this question before sharing how Dr. Ken Anthony – Director of Professional Development at Connecticut After School Network – was tasked with discussing the large impact of state networks and the importance of after school in youth’s lives with the president of the United States. Yes, President Barack Obama himself.

Dr. Anthony was prepared to “give his spiel” because he knew his elevator speech. An elevator speech is a brief, persuasive summary you will use to define your program and its value. When talking to policymakers, district leaders, staff and even families, a clear, concise elevator speech is an effective tool for providing information and creating interest.

A good elevator speech communicates a problem, solution and proof. Use this formula from Successwise as a starting point:

“You know [problem]? Well, what we do is [solution]. In fact [proof].”

Besides a good elevator speech, passion should also drive your advocacy for your program and the after school community. Follow Dr. Anthony’s lead, whose passion is clearly evident in the advice he offered: “No matter whom you’re talking to, it’s important to be able to talk about your craft and what you do. The more we can advocate, the more credibility we get as a field within the education field, the more we help!”