In recent years, the “Pitch” has made a remarkable entry into professional jargon and has imposed itself from the coffee machine to the management committees. At any time of the day, you’re ready to jump into the elevator to pitch your strategic plan to your boss, and your collaborator can grab you at the lunch break to pitch his new project. What a lovely world!
Pitching is easily associated with the corporate world, but much less so in our personal and daily lives. Indeed, when you had to negotiate with your children this morning to convince them to get ready for school or when you proposed to your friend to accompany you to the cinema to see the latest James Bond film, it wasn’t about you pitching anything to them…
Everyone pitches… without knowing it!
And yet, between these scenarios of your professional and personal lives, when facing your teams or your family, the principle remains the same: you’re seeking to create the desire to want your idea. That’s what a Pitch is all about, whatever the context. In short, the pitch has entered your daily life as it has conquered your professional life. Like “Monsieur Jourdain, who speaks in prose without knowing it,” you are therefore pitching in spite of yourself!
Everyone Pitches, … more or less well!
Except that, voilà, this morning, when your youngest refused to get ready for school, your “Pitch” still left something to be desired. And besides, rather than creating the desire for school, you ended up quite simply not giving him the choice… Your objective was indeed to pull out a good Pitch and your first reflexes were good, but you can have even more impact by following the 3 key steps of a successful pitch.
The 3 key steps of a successful pitch
- Capture interest
When trying at all costs to convince, the first instinct is to argue. But your arguments are perfectly useless if the person in front of you has no interest in them. Your first mission is therefore to sustainably capture the interest of your audience. And to do this, you must identify and formulate the real problem, the one that prevents your audience from sleeping at night and which you will seek to remedy. For example, if your child doesn’t want to go to school, his problem could be that he’s not well there, that he hasn’t got any friends, that he’s in difficulty with certain subjects, or, that he would rather just stay in bed!
- Create the desire
Once you’ve captured his interest, it’s up to you to offer him a solution that addresses his problem. Play on emotions by sharing your convictions, injecting meaning and direction into your idea. Show that you have the means to get where you want to go, and make your solution as concrete as possible. To create desire is above all to create the desire for the change brought about by your idea. If your child is failing in school your solution may involve more support, a tutor or more suitable follow-up work. If a little laziness comes into the equation, remind him of the stakes in school; what he will have to gain.
- Anchor the benefits
It’s hard to be happy about extra lessons when you’re a kid. However, the direct and collateral benefits are numerous: better grades, greater self-confidence, a less uncertain future…The challenge of this third key step is to end on a positive note and emphasize all the benefits that your idea brings. We often miss this step because we take these benefits for granted or as obvious. However, they aren’t necessarily so and they deserve to be identified and reminded of.
Anyone can learn how to Pitch
These 3 steps will enable you to pull out an effective Pitch under any circumstance, in the office or at home, and to convey your ideas and your message to all your interlocutors (young and old!). Beyond its Anglo-Saxon origins and its ambiguous definition, Pitching is therefore an essential skill for any individual, that is learned and practiced regularly for greater success. Practice pitching every day and you’ll be all the more effective and impactful in your professional communication and otherwise. To learn more about the Pitch as a strategic communication tool in business, you can also read (or re-read) “Point sur le Pitch,” (taking stock of the Pitch), our 108-page book on the art of being concise! (available in French only).