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Famous First Words

Three, two, one. That's how much time you have to make a good first impression in advertising--so choose your words wisely.

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This story appears in the October 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Imagine this: You're crossing a busy street in midtown Manhattan, and by some divine coincidence, you find yourself in the position to heroically shove the CEO of a national TV network out of the path of an oncoming car. In deep gratitude, and after learning you're an entrepreneur, the famous exec rewards you with three seconds of prime broadcast air time to sell your product or service. You think you've hit the jackpot. But what could you possibly say in those few precious seconds of entrepreneurial nirvana that could move a national TV audience to want your product?

Gulp.

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