For those who share my passion for “creating a perfect pitch” here is a great book to read. The Perfect Pitch The Art of Selling Ideas and Winning New Business by Jon Steel
I am always on the hunt for new book on preparing for and delivering great presentations. This one had a slow start, but then fired on all cylinders. The initial case studies were to long-winded and in my mind out of character with the message of the book. But in the guts of it was a great read. Once I made it 20% of the way through I couldn’t put it down.
Oh and don’t read it if you are a Porsche owner or belief that power point is a key ingredient to succinct pitches.
My key takeaways from this great book are listed below, not to give it all away but to bait you for a great read – this book is full of great ideas.
- Often pitches “Say everything, but tell nothing”
- The Most powerful statements come in small bundles.. check these powerful remembered statements out: “I do”,” I’m leaving”, “she’s dead”
People can only assimilate one idea at a time… a great example is throw five balls at once at someone and they wont catch any. Throw one and they will catch it. This concepts take me back to a comment that has stuck in my mind “One thought, one message , one person” Bernie White from Wellington (the moment).
- Surprise your audience with something different – my version is “stand out from the crowd” …
- Always write the 2 min version of your pitch first, even if you are doing a longer version.
- Use post notes to brain Storm and collate and order thoughts – themes. Jon argues going to power point to soon kills the creative process.
- Check you are Communicating vs lecturing to your audience
- Team – presentations need flow and if you are selling the team they need to look like a team eg all members need to be engaged excited with other team members presenting – Not reading email on their iPhones
- Use the room as part of your presentation always look at changing the layout from the norm.
- Remember 5-15-80 rule when accessing clients: 5% u know that u know, 15% u know they don’t know, 80% u don’t know they don’t know
Oh Jon Steel is not a great power point fan … I love this quote he has taken from Edward Tufte’s book a “Cognitive Style of Power Point”:
Imagine a widely used and expensive prescription drug that claimed to make us beautiful but didn’t.
Instead the drug had frequent, serious side effects: making us stupid, degrading the quality and credibility of our communication, turning us into bores, wasting our colleagues’ time.
These side effects, and the resulting unsatisfactory cost/benefit ratio, would rightly lead us to a world-wide product recall.
Go buy this great book, its well worth the read. http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Pitch-Selling-Winning-Business/dp/0471789763