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Arlington, MA 02476



Breath Mint?

In an unexpected burst of efficiency, the time management seminar ends 45 minutes ahead of schedule, which means that I can more quickly rescue my mouth from the unintended consequences of following that old adage about the breath mint.

“Never turn down a breath mint.”

So the saying goes.

Maybe she was just being polite

On Saturday

In that seminar

At the conference in St. Louis

When she offered me a Dentyne Fire.

Or maybe she was trying to tell me something.

Either way,

I’ve been conditioned

From years of doing live theater,


And interviews,

To just accept the breath mint when offered.

Only one problem.

I hate cinnamon.

Especially in gum form.

And Dentyne Fire,


Let’s just say,

My mouth catches fire

My eyes water

My hair reverts to its naturally curly state.

And it gets me thinking about your Elevator Pitch.

Because just like the breath mint

You want to share your Elevator Pitch

Every time there’s a chance to start a conversation.

Every time.


Sometimes it’s awkward.

Sometimes it’s painful.

Sometimes you wish your hair would catch fire

Because that

Would be a legitimate reason

To run screaming

From a networking event.

And while your hair catching on fire would certainly grab people’s attention

It’s the wrong kind of attention

Unless you sell fire extinguishers.

But back to the Elevator Pitch.

The Elevator Pitch is only painful if you expect it to start conversations with everyone.

Let’s clear this up right now.

It won’t.

In fact, the purpose of the Elevator Pitch is to figure out who you like talking to.

So if you find yourself in an awkward conversation

Your Elevator Pitch has succeeded

In pointing out

That you won’t pursue a future conversation

With this particular person.


Thank them.

Then go find someone who enjoys talking to you

As much as you enjoy talking to them…

That’s business networking.

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