Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Make It Pithy

There is a famous story about the movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn. A nervous young man had been ushered into his office to pitch an idea for a movie.

"You got a card son?" asked GoldwynThe nervous young man fumbled a card out of his breast pocket and slid it across the desk. Goldwyn didn't even look at it. He turned it over and pushed it back across the desk."Write your pitch on there."The young man looked, uncomprehending, at Goldwyn."Because if your idea for your movie doesn't fit on the back of a business card - you ain't got a movie."

If someone cuts you short, and really forces brevity upon you - your 45-minute presentation has to be delivered in 12 minutes, you meet your CEO in an elevator and she asks you what's the big issue in your department right now - will you have anything relevant or persuasive to say?

Check out the rest of Rowan Manahan's observations on the importance of elevator statements by clicking here.

I'd add that the products of major corporations can be summarized in one word:

Disneyland sells Fun.

Southwest Airlines sells Freedom.

Revlon sells Hope.

What are you selling?


Mark said...

True story, a couple months ago, in a freak incident, I got 2 minutes in a valet line with Wal-Mart's CFO. 2 minutes with the top of an organization obliterates 2 years of being stonewalled by the middle of an organization.


Michael Wade said...


Great story. I'd better start hanging around the valet lines!