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Jill Stone

Your Meeting Matchmaker Fairy Godmother

The 7 Second Spiel

in: Event Planning Advice Meeting Planning Experience

Last month I talked about how to Be Super in Sales in Only 30 Seconds, and while this is good advice, I recently learned of a pre-cursor to that 30 second spiel, and this the 7 seconds or less spiel. The idea was presented to my group by a dynamic professional speaker, Steve Hughes. His thought is to come up with a seven second or less wow, which will lead the listener to say, “Tell me more.” He calls it your TMM Statement.

When someone asks what you do, the inclination is to give it away right away. You might say, “I’m in hotel sales” or “I’m a meeting planner.” This is usually counter-productive, as people have a tendency to simply fill in the blanks; they feel as if they have summed up you and what you do and are now free to move onto other subjects. They see no reason and have no desire to learn more.

What you want to say is a “teaser” of sorts; a carefully crafted statement that makes people stand up, take notice and wish to engage with you. No, it’s not easy, but yes, it is worth your time and attention. You will more than likely not hit upon a winning TMM Statement right away, but you can at least start to test the waters as they come to you. When the opportunity presents itself, try out your current TMM Statement, gage the reactions, then tweak, change, or ditch it.

For example, Steve Hughes’ TMM Statement is, “I help people look and sound smart when they talk.”  Simple, straight and to the point, but without giving it all away. Rather than leading to a – dead end, we’re done, sayonara – it leads to a conversation.  Other examples he shared are; “I’m an EMT for the soul” (a therapist), “I’m a reproduction specialist” (a printer) and “I’m in the cha-ching business” (financial planner).

Is your brain just ticking with ideas about now? Here are a few guidelines to get you started:

  • Do not use any nouns that say what you actually do; it’s a hint, a nuance.
  • Keep it short, 3 to 7 seconds tops.
  • Your goal is to intrigue, think along the line of “different and unexpected.”

I have yet to craft my TMM statement, but working on it! Hmmm, so what do you think of these; “I create dynamic connections at no cost to you,” “I  help companies sleep around” or maybe, “I give meeting planners bragging rights.” Okay, so maybe I need to work on it a bit more. Why don’t you give it a go and tell me what you come up for your TMM statement!

To learn more about Steve Hughes and his presentations (the guy that helps people look and sound smart when they talk), check out his very informative web site at

Jill Stone has been a HelmsBriscoe Associate for over 10 years and in the meeting planning industry for over 20 years. Her dedication, powerful negotiating skills and top rate service have earned her an impressive list of devoted clients. She consistently places at the top 5% in sales for HelmsBriscoe and consistently achieves President Club Status. To contact Jill; or 636-797-3405.


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Steve Hughes April 22, 2011, 6:58 pm

Great post! (But how can I not like something written about me.)

Jill, I really like your second TMM — “I help companies sleep around.” It’s short, it’s intriguing, it has a hint of whimsy, and most importantly, it dares the other person to smile and ask more. I mean, no one is going to hear that line and say, “Oh that’s nice. Some stretch of weather we’ve been having…” Well done.

Jill Stone April 23, 2011, 11:10 pm

Thank you, Steve!