18/07/2012

By Alexia Leachman

Now with all of the ideas I’ve shared with you about developing your pitch, you might be left wondering how all this fits together. Well I hate to break it to you but there is no quick fix formula that we can employ here. We’re all as unique as the next person, and come across other equally unique people in what amounts to an infinite amount of unique experiences and situations. However, there are ways of thinking about everything I’ve shared with you that I hope will help.

As with any pitch, the first line that you deliver needs to have impact and be compelling, otherwise it’s as far as you’re going to get. Great ways to achieve that are explained in the article called The Hook. By having some statements that stop people dead and encourage them to listen futher you’re giving yourself the best chance of success. However. If your pitch is all shine and no substance, then no matter how compelling it may have sounded at the outset, you might find that the more you speak, the more you take away the initial shine.

Let me explain.

Let’s say for example that you’ve met an interesting group of people at an event. And you hear one of them share what seems like a fantastic pitch. Let’s call him Dave! Everyone else in the group turns to Dave wanting to hear more about what he does and some are even asking him questions. As the conversation continues, someone asks Dave why he’s doing this amazing thing. And then a funny thing happens. Dave suddenly loses his self-assured manner, and it soon becomes obvious that he’s not really sure why he’s doing what he’s doing, in fact someone told him it might be a good idea and he thought “why not?” In sharing this story he accidently reveals that he’s not that committed to it and that’s he’s often thought about doing other things. Now what impact do you think that might have on the original pitch he shared? What sounded wonderful at the outset, became unravelled very quickly as a more in-depth conversation revealed that all was not what it seemed.

You see, in an age of conversations, connections and relationships, we need to ensure that our pitch stands up to the test of time. We’re no longer in a position whereby we share our pitch, walk off and never hear from that person again. In our highly connected times, there is a strong possibility that we the people we meet become connections on Twitter or LinkedIn and as such people are able to keep an eye on us. So we need to make sure that we are walking our talk, because if we’re not, it’ll become apparent pretty quickly and that pitch we thought was so great, is being let down by only one person and that’s us.

And it’s for this reason that I state that knowing your WHAT, your WHY and your HOW is important because not only does clarity of these help you in your pitch, but also in ensuring that you’re walking your talk, in other words that you’re being authentic. In a world where trust is being eroded left, right and centre, being able to foster trust in your relationships will only come when you’re being authentic and transparent, and your WHAT, WHY and HOW help you to achieve that.

So for me, if your pitch were a dish (I’m a foodie, allow me to indulge) then it needs to look delicious as well as taste delicious. If it’s bland and tasteless once people have taken the decision to have a bite, then you’re just going to leave a bad taste in their mouth, and who wants to do that?

About the author

Alexia Leachman is a Personal Brand Coach and Head Trash Liberator at Blossoming Brands. She helps entrepreneurs find their mojo by helping them to clear their head trash, tell their story, raise their profile, build their digital presence and manage their reputation. You can find out more at www.blossomingbrands.com www.headtrash.co.uk And you can follow her on Twitter at @AlexiaL and @BBrands .