The elevator speech

Many marketing folks talk about the the “elevator speech.” This suggests writing a simple monologue about your profession…something you can tell somebody during a brief elevator ride.

How long is an average elevator ride? According to the internet…about 118 seconds. That’s slightly longer than the length of an average movie scene of 90 seconds. But I would suggest something even shorter. Why?

We television watchers can generally absorb and remember a one minute ad. Those ads frequently present a scene that describes a problem, and offer a solution to the problem.

Consider this: Many of us humans don’t buy products. We buy solutions to problems. I buy toothpaste and haircuts simply because they make me look better.

How do you — or your job or your company — solve a problem? Can you talk about that in 60 seconds, or 150 words?


Write your Minute Bio today!

A friend whose parents recently died told me she wished she’d ask them more questions about their early lives.

“They grew up during the Depression,” she said, “and struggled hard just to give their children a better life. I do wish they’d written something down, so we kids would know more about the schools they attended, and the early jobs they had.”

No matter what your age, you can begin writing a “mini-biography,” a 200 to 500-word story of your life thus far. It’s something you can gift to children, grandchildren, and friends who’ve helped you along the way.

Don’t worry getting off to the perfect start. Just start writing down what you remember. You can move paragraphs around later.

Answer these questions to help you get started: What’s the greatest day of your life? What’s the first memory you have? What do you remember about elementary school? What do you like most about your career?

Take a look at Rix’s new book: How to Sell Ideas With the Minute Message

Where are your archives?

A historian asked a question the other day that turned my world upside down.

“Where,” he asked his audience, “will future generations store their greatest documents if everything is stored electronically?”

I never see paper or books going completely away, because humans still have reasons to write things down, and to read and retain printed materials. So — in today’s multimedia society — the larger question becomes “We generate lots and lots of data, but what’s the most important to retain?”

One logical answer: Make everything you write memorable in some way. Aesop did this by teaching lessons with each story. Dale Carnegie offered wonderful tips in his book on “How to win friends and influence people.” Leonardo deVinci both drew and described his futuristic inventions.

It’s a tall assignment…but think about creating something memorable every time you sit down to write.

Look at Rix’s new booK; How to Sell Ideas With the Minute Message

Idea notebook?

I heard two comedians discuss how they came up with humor bits. One said he kept a pocket-sized notebook and a pen with him at all times. If a potential comedic idea or joke passed through his head, he wrote it down.

The other comic noted that “I write down anything funny I’ve just seen or heard. Maybe I can’t do anything with the material right then, but at least it’s an idea-starter.”

Are you in the newspaper or magazine or content-development business? If so, the “notebook idea” might be worth thinking about. The thoughts you develop might be serious or historical or comedic. But capturing the idea as it races through our brains is important.

And since most of us carry cell phones, we can simply speak the idea we just thought about into the phone’s memo function.

Rix Quinn’s new e-book: