Saturday, December 05, 2009

Lifes a Pitch

Extracts from “Lifes a Pitch”– Want to sell yourself and your brilliant ideas by Stephen Bayley and Roger Mavity
Read the book on the plane…. Some interesting take outs.
The Pitch is a key factor that will determine the course of your life
· The pitch - to present, strut, persuade in order to win a deal.
· You are trying to get someone else to do what you want them to do. To hire you , to work for you, to invest in your business, to lend you money, to go out with you, to sleep with you.
· Much of life is routine and process,, however, one thing you can be certain of is the change will occur during your life ….how you handle change is key – and its all about your pitch during this change.
· Change :- A new job; an acquisition; more capital needed; a listing; an exit; proposing to your partner; breaking up with your partner; buying a house; selling a house; the date that becomes a long term relationship
· How you pitch your ideas, how you pitch your company, how you pitch your products, how you pitch yourself – is a key ingredient on how you will be able to take advantage of this change to achieve your goals, dreams and aspirations.
A successful pitch is more about emotion than logic.
· When an investor is going to invest money in your business… will it be based on spreadsheets, or the persons gut feel or comfort on whether the team/CEO/ Founder will be able to give him a return on his money?
· No-one can be certain of what is going to happen in the future…. When you are pitching, you are asking people to believe in your future….. much will be based on emotions of TRUST, HOPE, CONFIDENCE, DESIRE, GREED and FEAR. These emotions are of the heart and not the head.
· The logic and spreadsheets are generally support and justification of making this emotional decision.
What Drives a Business?
· It takes courage to take a risk, not numbers
· It takes determination to build a business – not numbers
· It takes passion to keep goping when others would cave in – not numbers
· It takes imagination to create a new idea which changes a market – not numbers
· It takes inspiration to motivate staff through a difficult time – not numbers
What you need to do to make a successful pitch
· Preparation, preparation, preparation.
· Practice , Practice, Practice…. The more you practice the luckier you will get. Do it until you feel confident that you have it nailed.
· Research, practice, time, get the foundation right
· Understand your audience, ideally know each person who you will be pitching to. Be a good listener
· Say what you are going to say; say it and say it again
· Define what you want to achieve, Make it simple to understand, have extreme confidence in presenting, If they don’t have confidence in you, they won’t have confidence in your idea. The shorter, simpler and clearer, the more confidence you will generate.
· Identify the problem, dwell on it… do not go straight to the solution
· Have one cornerstone slide that will stick in the audiences mind. One central idea
· Executive summary and close…. At end of pitch – tell the story…. Build to a climax and close.
· Only use powerrpoint once you have drafted and perfected your pitch.
· Delivery, pace and shape
· Look the part
· Use of Humour
· Communicating with the audience
· Ideally don’t use autocue or read slides. Use slides – graphical to illustrate a point.
· When someone asks a question, they don’t necessarily want to know the answer, but whether they can develop a relationship with you. How you interact with them is more important in what you say.
· Be confident and express yourself simply and effectively to get your point across.
· Be charismatic. Have the courage to be a bit different from the rest. Have the authority and charm and magnetic personality that is palpable. Do the things that people think about but would not do. Behave as you wish, not how society expects you to be. Enjoy what you are doing.
· Reassurance, excitement, turning negatives into positives is key as part of the pitch.
· At the end . the close is the most important, and you need to get the audience to say yes.
· Follow up, write a letter to your audience, get feedback, close the sale.
· Once you have emailed, written a letter, follow up with a call asking a few key questions…
· the objective is to build relationship and trust… it is a process. This will set you apart.
What Drives a Decision Maker such as a CEO?
Pitching to a CEO – identify with him, relate to him, get him to trust you and like you, develop a relationship with him.
How important is price?
When you are sick or need medicine… do you ask…
does the medicine work? Or how much does the medicine cost?
The Psychology of Pitching and understanding the transfer of Power.
The pitch is to transfer the power from the audience to the pitcher.
· A bank has the power to give you a loan.. once you have achieved… you have that power
· An investor has the power to invest… once he has invested – yyou have that power
· An employer has the power to give you a job, once you have been offered the job, you have the power
· A girl you like has the power to make love to you… once you have made love – you have the power
· A client has the power to use you as a professional, once he has chosen you have the power to give him an awesome service
· Identify WHO has the power to say yes – research them and identify what makes them tick… plan the pitch well before the meeting.
People do not like to give up power… there is a fear of loss… the pitcher needs to reassure them, minimize their risk and make it safe to say yes. it is up to you to encourage them to transfer that power to you.

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