Here's another version of attempting to explain Ham Radio to the public by KN4AQ in videoSource: KN4AQ - Gary Pearce
"Ham Radio Now" Video Episode #94 @ Shelby Hamfest
Starting @ approx 31:00 minutes into videohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yn1fms04IMI&feature=c4-overview&list=UUxqXFK9ETC5CWEdDD-_HpqA
The KN4AQ "elevator speech" goes like this …. "Ham Radio is a two-way radio hobby and service.
It's a hobby because we use our radios for fun to talk to others and have a good time.
It's a service because we are licensed by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission)
that requires us taking an examination to operate our equipment.
We use the equipment for the benefit of the public, such as during emergencies when normal communication is out or for charity events such as walks or bike tours and things like that in providing logistics and communications."
His point of view is if someone asked you what time is it, you don't tell them how to make a watch. But, hams will turn on a "fire hose" of information in trying to detail every facet of Ham Radio that exists and it's no wonder the pubic walks away totally confused and bewildered.
Afterwards, if your asked a specific question, why to give a focused answer!
I like his simple initial explanation. Check out the video.