Life’s a pitch!

by | Feb 15, 2024 | Uncategorised | 0 comments

It can be said that all of life is a constant, ongoing sales pitch. We are selling ourselves all the time, in any and all business or social meetings. 

This applies to any form of artistic endeavours, whether we’re actors, directors, writers or producers. 

We must learn how to pitch ourselves and make sure it sounds right. 

Whether we’re pitching a film project; a script, an idea or our acting capabilities the best pitches should not take more than two minutes. 

It’s like a two minute commercial, if advertisers can sell widgets and products in one minute commercials then why can’t we do it in two minutes?

Because, in this day and age most people get distracted, very easily and quickly. And it’s our job to grab their attention from the get go. 

Pitching is trying to turn someone else on to a story that turns us on. We have a passion for the story so we aim to find another person who wants to play with us at our game. The idea is to connect with another person on an emotional level. 

We have to visualise our story, our pitch to the point where it feels as though we’re pitching a movie we’ve already seen. What we’re pitching is really the trailer to a movie. 

Therefore, what can we do to grab their attention? Here are two important factors:

  1. Ask them a question that has to do with what we’re aiming to sell – have they heard of it or something similar before. This will get them to start thinking of an answer to the question. It doesn’t matter whether they answer a Yes or No to the question. What we’re doing is taking them away from whatever they were thinking about before and now they can hone in on us. By asking them a question we’ve gotten them involved. 

  1. Aim to find an interesting story to tell. A story to do with us, our product, our idea, our script. Relay some facts, figures, history, anecdotes, whatever it takes to grab their attention. The story is really the backstory for the pitch that’s to be delivered.

And remember, no pitching longer than two minutes or else they’ll start to lose interest. 

When done it’s best to end the pitch with a close. By saying something along the lines of ‘would you like to see, read, watch, listen further?’ That tells them that we’re finished. 

We can also ask ‘Do you have any questions?’ Or ‘Is there anything more I can tell you about the product, myself, my project, my story?’ 

If they liked what they’ve heard, they will start to ask us more questions. Questions are good because no one knows the story better than us. Questions are easier to answer than pitching the story. 

Sometimes they’ll ask questions for a particular reason – to see if we are somebody they can work with. In other words, when we pitch we are being judged in two areas. One, how good the pitch or story is and two, is this somebody they want to work with? 

When we pitch we must bring three elements to the pitch: enthusiasm and passion. I’ll cover the third in a minute. By being enthusiastic we let the other person know how lucky they are to have us come to them and share our story. 

We have to make them feel that this is the highlight of their day and enthusiasm during the pitch is important. 

Being passionate about our story is a must as well. Sometimes we’ll get knocked back by negativity and be rejected but we must fight for our pitch, our story and prove to the world that this is important.

Even if we get rejected by our pitch or story the listener will admire us for being passionate. 

If they say no we have to realise it may not be the right project for them at that exact moment in time. It might not be the right story, the right flavour of ice cream, the right character that they want to buy at that moment. 

Let’s not take it personally. It says nothing about us as an individual. It’s just not the right fit. 

Another great tool for pitching is using visual aids, pictures and even gimmicks to capture the listeners attention. Wearing an outfit to convey the pitch or story can also help. 

Anything visually external that can enhance the communication, anything that can make it easier for the listeners to visualise whatever it is we’re looking to sell. 

But, the gimmick should not be obtrusive. The pitch should not become so dependent upon the gimmick that the story gets lost. The gimmick should supplement the pitch not dominate it. And it should be presented at the appropriate part of the meeting. Sometimes during and sometimes like a punchline at the end. 

The third element is to go into a meeting confident. Our attitude should be: I’m brining you a gift. If you don’t want it, someone else will take it, and you’ll be sorry then.’ 

We also have to pick up on the energy of the person we’re addressing or pitching to. If they seem calm and a little more cerebral then we should tone it down and approach in a more subdued fashion. On the other hand if we pick up some nervous energy they have, then we should be more hyper and dynamic. 

it really depends on their attitude, energy or emotional tone level. 

Another important aspect in any presentation is our appearance. Interestingly 80% of what a buyer remembers is the seller’s appearance; only 20% has to do with how that product fits his or her needs. In other words, how we look, how we dress and how we carry ourselves are at least as important as the story we sell. 

Dark or neutral colours seem to be the colours of choice. Anything hot red or road cone orange yellow signals caution. 

Remember to practice the pitching often. We can film ourselves on our iPhone in a mock practice session and view our pitch with friends and ask for their feedback on our body language and how we told our story. 

And finally in any form of sales, it’s a numbers game. Let’s not get discouraged. Every no brings us close to the final yes. 

We all have good ideas, sometimes even great ideas but if we’re unable to pick it then it turns out being a bad idea. 

Whether we’re talking movies, TV, internet, products, services or the world of business, the pitch is our entree into the world of excitement and intrigue. 

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