A freshman who lives gluten free might use ‘elevator speech’ like this to introduce himself and make his new friends aware of his situation:
“CD is not contagious. The gluten free diet is not a weight loss diet! It’s similar to a food allergy in that if I eat foods containing wheat, barley or rye, I have problems digesting food. These complications may occur if I eat food that has merely come into contact with wheat, barley, or rye.”
Statements like this are called ‘elevator speeches’ because they can be delivered in less than a minute, the length of an elevator ride. ‘Elevator speeches’ does not invite immediate questions — people who become friends with the speaker will get more detailed information at the appropriate time.
‘Elevator speeches’ should be planned in advance and memorized. Preparing the speech helps the student focus on what is most important about about living gluten free.
Click to download “Navigating the Gluten Free Diet in College” which includes examples of elevator speeches (see page 4) plus other information that I will be referring to in future articles. I suggest you print out this article. You’ll need it.