Images and video © 2007 Lions Gate Television, Inc.
Text © TrinityP3 2012
For 15 years I was pitching ideas. The last 12 years I have been assessing other people’s pitches. Don Draper is the ultimate at pitching ideas
PITCHING THE NEW
Human beings love new, but are also scared of change. People love new and hate change. It is this tension that we are wanting. Tension creates interest. It is uncomfortable. But it keeps us engaged.
PITCHING THE INTANGIBLE
So what you are pitching has to be new. If it is new it is unlikely to exist If it already exists then there is no tension and no interest. We are not selling products and services. We are pitching the intangibles - Dreams, aspirations, desires,
PROBLEM / SOLUTION
Set up to problem. Allow your idea to be the obvious and unexpected solution. The bigger the problem the more compelling. If you do not have a problem you will not have a solution. So create a problem and solve it
TAKE THEM ON YOUR JOURNEY
The inventor’s journey is a story. You have lived with the idea. Take them on that journey
Make it interesting. The challenges and the victories. The inspiration and the set backs
MAKE IT REAL
If the idea does exist, then make it real. Find ways to make the concept real. Advertising agencies do layouts, scripts and mood reels. Inventors create prototypes. Find a way to make the idea come to life in “real terms”
USE EMOTIONS, NOT FACTS
Here is a key point. Avoid the rational. Appeal to the emotions. Humans have a reptile midbrain and a high cortex for rational and analytical thinking. Medical research shows we feel the right decision before we think it. But if you let them think it before they feel it you are lost
BE A POET
Appeal to emotions like artists do. Be a poet and use metaphors, analogies and stories. Don Draper compares the Kodak wheel to a Carousel where you travel around and around like a child does, and return to a place where you know you are loved. Now that is poetry.
SELL THE SIZZLE, NOT THE SAUSAGE
Are we selling a bag of minced meat with spice, flavours and fillers? Or are we selling the sound of a sausage grilling on the BBQ and an aroma that makes your mouth water?
KEEP IT TIGHT
The problem with the human brain is you have 20 minutes max. If your pitch is taking more than 20 minutes you are taking way too long. How long is best? As long as it takes to convince the audience. And not a second longer. The shorter the better. Jerry Seinfeld, the most famous and arguably most popular comic in the world says an audience gives him 3 mins to make them laugh or else he dies on stage.
PRACTISE! PRACTISE! PRACTISE!
I do not mean practise the same pitch over and over again as the danger is it becomes robotic and lacking passion. But practice pitching. Pitch what you are going to do tonight with your partner. Pitch an idea for work. Pitch an idea for a holiday with friends. Get out there and practice pitching