How I wish I knew about this amazing skill back when I was 20. It would have spared me lots of time, money, and head-and-heart pains. More importantly, it would have launched me earlier to the realm of great fortunes and authority.
That’s right, nobody showed me this super unique skill, ever. My parents didn’t, nor did a mentor, a companion, a teacher, a lover, a professor, and certainly not a friend.
I had to endure countless rejections, failures, and head-and-heart pains to learn. It took a lot of experiences, direct and indirect. The learning happened while I was looking for a job, submitting my work, making calls, teasing friends, and giving presentations of my ideas.
If I had any knowledge of this super valuable skill whatsoever, I could have earned a scholarship, kept a few large clients, landed an impressive and premium-paying job, made a fortune in no time, and –who knows? — married my better half. On the contrary, I had to wait for 10 years to get these things, excluding the last one, for many reasons.
For most people, ‘ten years’ is a really long time. So, if you have the chance to learn it now, why not make the best of it?
That one super unique and valuable skill has a name, and it’s called Pitching. Capital P, that’s right.
Pitching is an art that would be extremely handy in almost every situation; a career, business, and life in general. Even in politics, if you decide to run for president one day.
A pitch isn’t called one until it’s truly amazing in a way that makes you stand above everyone else. A good pitch is one that gives results. Sometimes, you only have as little as a few minutes, seconds even, to make a fantastic impression that leads to your selection.
But it has to be truly fantastic, because people are too full of themselves to notice the difference between you and the rest of the crowd. And because you are the only one with the knowledge of how you differ from others and why you deserve to be selected, it falls to you alone to prove why choosing you is the best option.
Here are 3 pieces of advice on the art of pitching.
First, regard yourself as a “business.”
When I say “you”, I mean the entire package that includes your talents, skills, physical appearance, and other unique characteristics and attributes.
Don’t forget this basic rule: businesses should sell their images to the public, before being able to sell their products. An “image” refers to the important positive characteristics that can be related to the business. It is essential that the public (or the person that is targeted by your pitch) care for that positive image.
When promoting a positive image, bear in mind that it requires more than showcasing a winning smile. Your “image” consists of anything that represents you — from personal interactions, to whatever you post on social media. Before you can effectively pitch yourself to others, be their potential partners, clients, or employers, your online image needs to be consistent with what you’re selling upfront. According to one report, even your credit history can play a major role in how others perceive you, and can sometimes make the difference when trying to land the job of your dreams.
The point is, by knowing that nobody is perfect, you are free to have higher expectations from and delve deeper into yourself. You’d do whatever it takes to bring yourself in line with the demonstrated positive image whether that means getting your credit checked regularly or being up front about past mistakes.
Second, a successful pitch is based on a certain mold.
Although every pitch is essentially the same, you shouldn’t repeat it word for word countless times. It’s like baking a cake; you use the same ingredients and pan, but no cake is exactly the same, as each occasion calls for different presentations and decorations.
Basically, the pitch is the connecting ring that bonds the pitcher and his target person with a defined goal. If the “bond” resonates strongly with your target person, then you have made a successful pitch. For example, if your target is looking for a job, the pitch should create a bond with the employer. If it’s a scholarship application, the pitch should create a bond to the university and the program’s mission and vision.
Purpose. Know your destination and the way it would benefit your target (person or public). Answer “why” you are the best person for it by including a clear purpose in your pitch. That may be an answer or response to a specific problem.
You can also explain why you think you are the only suitable person among the endless line of candidates. Show enough courage to admit your distinction and uniqueness.
Authentic. Be as authentic as possible. The pitch should be leading, not following. To be genuine, you can opt to use a unique and memorable acronym, a contrarian perspective, or even make a joke.
Simple. Be as simple as possible. This means that one should be able to understand it without wrinkling his forehead, reaching for the dictionary, or having a Ph.D. in decryption. It should be written in simple terms, avoiding complex sentences, easy enough to memorize.
Short. Besides simple, make it short. Sweet. Generate a smart and catchy name of the proposal or project, where it applies, one that can be memorized easily. Examples: VoluntEARS for Disney’s volunteering program, or PetTel for Pet Hotel.
Third, no pitch is the same as the next.
The secret of success is to tailor the “mold” to the current objectives’ requirements. Customize the P-O-S-S template to your individual needs. Almost all situations need pitching, so you would benefit from remembering to use this method.
The perfect pitch is a fact-filled art with a pseudo-scientific foundation. After mastering the art of pitching, you are in for a life filled with meaning and rewards. Learn it now, without wasting any more time. Good pitches create many opportunities for a great life.
Featured photo credit: Robert Bejil Photography via imcreator.com