What's a Memory Dart?

Jul 31, 2020

LEADER’S FIELD GUIDE

Ditch the Elevator Pitch for Woodruff's Memory Dart, challenging you to distill your life's work into words that make you memorable and referable.


How’s your Elevator Pitch these days? A bit rusty? What about your 30-second Zoom introduction? First impressions made on the small screen are no less important than those made at a large networking event. Humans are very predictable; we want to hear something unique! We want a quick catch phrase that helps us remember who you are, most importantly, we really don’t want to be pitched! Steve Woodruff, author of Clarity Wins: Get Heard. Get Referred, recommends a Memory Dart, rather than an elevator pitch.

In Kevin Kruse’s LEADx Leadership Show, Woodruff suggests professionals can be like penguins: hard to distinguish from one another, or pigeonholed: reduced to an over-simplified (not necessarily complimentary) category. To distinguish themselves, Woodruff encourages professionals to distill their introduction into “a small number of words that stick in memory.” This Memory Dart allows you, and those who may refer you, to carry your message around without a lot of effort.

For example, if someone said, “We are the Ritz Carlton of auto shops!” I would expect a high-priced luxury experience, excellent workmanship, and a wide selection of complimentary hors d’oeuvres. Steve Woodruff uses “King of Clarity” as his Memory Dart.

What’s your Memory Dart?

  1. Truth Statements: First, detail your strengths and characteristics, those that make you unique and effective and client-worthy. List all that you can, then circle the top five. Which especially resonate with you or your brand?
  2. Five Elements:
    • Who? Define your title, position, and responsibility.
    • What? Go beyond naming the department (sales) and define impact, like moving families into their dream home.
    • Why? Describe your competitive edge or the business pain (or business hope) that makes clients open their wallet.
    • How? Detail your superpower, what makes you unique, and why are you the go to for this solution.
    • Where? Outline your specialty area, client niche, or geographic location (locally, globally, regionally, virtually).
  3. Memory Dart: Now, the hard part! Create a short word picture that is easy to remember and repeat– often an analogy or metaphor. Sometimes the Memory Dart comes from others. For example, I was once called The Ninja Coach because I get so quickly to the core of my clients’, um, “opportunities”.

Woodruff reminds us that we only get one identity, so you might as well tell people what it is! Distilling the complexity of who we are and what we do into a memorable word picture is challenging, but worth the effort in order to be remembered and referred. Regardless of the venue, it’s time to polish up your introduction. What’s your Memory Dart? (Let me know if you would like help.)


by Michelle Sugerman • Leading Synergies, LLC • © All Rights Reserved

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