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Rule number one of any speech or pitch is to make a littlejoke--a humorous little anecdote, if you will--to break the ice.Then launch into your, ahem, more serious subject matter.

Or if you're like Woody Thompson and Tad Low, skip theserious stuff altogether and just keep the laughs coming. Renownedfor creating cable channel VH1's infectious Pop-Up Videoconcept, Thompson and Low have parlayed their first success into averitable franchise with a spin-off game show, called Pop-UpQuiz, a calendar and the book Pop This: A Behind The ScenesLook at the Best of Pop-Up Videos (Pocket Books, $18,800-223-2348). Not content to stop there, the partners and ownersof Spin the Bottle Inc., their New York City entertainment and newmedia company, are developing new show ideas and a digital cablechannel.

Circa 1994, Thompson and Low lost their jobs when the late-nightshow they worked on--Thompson as producer, Low as anchor--wascanceled. Believing they could make better shows for a lot lessmoney, they started brainstorming. One year and 60 show ideaslater, they emerged to pitch their ideas to TV execs in LosAngeles. Two years later, VH1 bought Pop-Up Video.

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