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I don’t buy into the one-minute elevator pitch.

Let me clarify. I’m totally into the idea of a compact presentation of one’s self and one’s business. I just have three issues with the one-minute elevator pitch: One minute is too long; you’re only in elevators 0.0000001% of the time (yes, I made that up); no one wants to be pitched.

The classic elevator pitch is too long, and it’s trying to accomplish too much, too soon.

As Seth Godin puts it, no one ever bought anything on an elevator.

For your opener, strive instead for a memory dart—a single phrase with a vivid image that can be delivered before the elevator door closes.

Here’s an example.

Q: “Good to meet you, Steve. What is it you do?”

A: “I’m the world’s only Clarity Therapist. In under a day, I help individuals and companies discover their professional 'fit' and distill it into a clear, compelling message.”

BOOM! A provocative dart, not a canned pitch.

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image of Steve Woodruff

Steve Woodruff is the world's only Clarity Therapist. He connects people with their purpose, their message, and with other people in order to create new business opportunities. He writes at the SteveWoodruff.com.

Steve is an unusual hybrid of conceptualizer, strategist, marketer, analyst, wordsmith, semi-techie, and all-around decent fellow, except when there's bad coffee or lousy wine.

Steve can also be found on Twitter, LinkedIn.