Elevator Speech Contest

"So, what is Montessori anyway?"

If you are a Montessori teacher or parent, then you’ve most likely been on the receiving end of this question from relatives, friends or intrigued strangers.  Ever delivered a great explanation, only to wish later that you’d written it down or recorded yourself so you could remember it for next time?  Ever been tongue-tied and wished you had been better prepared for that stranger who sees your Montessori T-shirt or bag and asks, “What is Montessori?”

Well, fire up those neurones, loosen those lips, press the elevator button, and hang on for the first official Montessori Elevator Speech Contest! The contest will be held during a breakout session at the Transforming the Adult National Conference on 28-29 October 2023.  

The organiser of the event, Mark Powell, is seeking to create a venue for Montessorians to share ideas about how best to promote Montessori schools.  They also wanted to offer a different kind of workshop – a fun, interactive, playful experience – as a respite from the more formal conference-style workshops.  Part round-table discussion, part Australia’s Got Talent, the session will feature a panel of “experts” including trainers and leaders of our major Montessori organisations.  Spontaneous audience participation will be encouraged and entries from the floor will be considered along with videos recorded on smartphones!  After lively discussion of what makes a good elevator speech, entries will be moderated by the panel and winners chosen by the audience.  Prizes are then handed out to the winning submissions!

Entries should be 60 seconds or less and answer the question, “What is Montessori? or “Why Montessori?”  All submissions must be received by 30 September 2023.  Please help this contest challenge go viral by sending it out to teachers, parents or even students whom you think have that special gift of the gab! Getting each school's community to think through and share these ideas will help the whole community better communicate about what makes our schools and the Montessori method so special. 

All of the videos submitted, along with a few samples by well-known Montessorians, will be viewable on the Montessori Australia Elevator Speech Video Contest channel on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY40anY6czvH2lwiLsdJosA. Take a look now!

Submit a video of your Elevator Speech to [email protected] or request a link to a Google folder for easy transfer of the file. More than one entry is encouraged. Along with the video please also send a text file with the script of your video.

By submitting a video for this contest you are giving permission for your video to be uploaded to the Montessori Australia Elevator Speech Contest YouTube channel.  Videos received are the property of Montessori Australia, and may be sampled in a future video compilation addressing the question “What is Montessori?”

All submissions for the contest must be received by 30 September 2023. Please keep in mind:

  • Your video must be 60 seconds or less.
  • You must attend Transforming the Adult National Conference to collect any prizes, but anyone can submit entries for the contest. 
  • Your video should answer the question “What is Montessori?” or “Why Montessori?”
  • Entries will be judged by a vote poll by delegates attending the conference.
  • Videos received are the property of Montessori Australia. We reserve the right to edit submissions.

We may modify them or use them in a montage or for other purposes. We may allow others to use them for Montessori advocacy purposes.

Watch Trevor Eissler, author of Montessori Madness, give guidance about the biggest mistake many people make when trying to do an Elevator Speech here.