Several weeks ago, In the music section of the Sunday Washington Post an article caught my attention, “Launching a Pop Career in Six Seconds.” It was about a young, unknown singer who posted a six-second video clip on a site called Vine and woke up the next day with over 2,000 followers.

Really? I’ve been thinking about this article ever since. Actually his first post was done ‘just to see what happens.’ Okay, that was a tactic. But the planned second post, that six-second song clip was done with intent. It was done with strategy. It had real purpose.

So, is there such a thing as a ‘strategic six seconds?’ This is the notion I’ve been pondering. At first with a scoff and then with a perhaps, and now with a definite recognition of yes – six seconds of strategy and perfect pitch can go a long way to yes – to that first record contract, to the job interview, to the call back, to “tell me more.”

Cut down that Pixar pitch to:

  • One chord
  • Twenty-five words or less
  • A thought
  • A Ted-talk worthy idea

And what you want in return is desire for more. But those six seconds have to be memorable, catchy, thought provoking. Mostly they have to be new and you.

This is what we used to call an elevator pitch. Or a ‘sound bite.’ It is really your core message and the heart of your pitch. This is me – who I am, what I have to say and I’m not holding back.

Those six seconds have to deliver. They deliver a core message that can interest, inspire, or intrigue. When strategy works, it inherently drives desire for more. And as you prepare for those six seconds you realize how very hard simplicity can be.