The subject of the pitch is on everyone’s lips yet it is not the solution to everything. First of all, you would no doubt have to wonder what is a pitch anyway? A short speech that makes the audience want to know more? A way to unite teams and advance a project? In other words, a communication tool to create leadership? Added to this is the question of Timing: when does the pitch come in? If the audience is already won over, is the pitch the right format? Before speaking in public, it is necessary to know exactly what our objective is.
After careful consideration, it is time to ask a question: Does the pitch have its limits? In which case is the pitch not the communication tool that I need?
“What is a pitch?” Rare are those in business who have never heard this question. Because indeed, for twenty years, the pitch has become a powerful communication tool. Both simple and structuring, it allows you to clearly express your ideas, to make them desirable in all circumstances.
It is therefore not surprising that the pitch is omnipresent today in our personal and professional lives. But can we really do everything with it? Are there any limits to its use?
In business, the pitch is a key working tool, which is important to learn. But like any tool, the pitch has its own limits; to know it means to also know how to moderate its use to reinforce its impact.
1st limit: When creating desire is not appropriate
A pitch is a great tool to create desire for your idea or your project. However, creating desire to know more is not appropriate in all situations.
Let’s take the example of a manager who has to make an urgent choice for his business. Having many documents to read within a very short period of time, he asks his team for a summary. A pitch, as good as it is, will only make him want to read the entire documentation at best. Far from the expected result…
In this case precisely, a summary will be much more suitable to allow him to make a quick and informed decision. A pitch and a summary are two clearly different tools. The pitch sends a partial and idealized image of a project. Whereas a summary must, on the contrary, be neutral and exhaustive.
2nd limit: When a short speech is not appropriate
An impacting pitch is a short pitch. For good reason: if you want to create ambassadors for your project, your idea must be easy to repeat and spread. But in certain contexts, it is no longer a question of being synthetic. Certain moments require more time, more listening, more sensitivity.
The President’s various interventions on the Covid-19 are an example of this. He intervenes to explain the situation in France, in order to express the issues, his convictions, and his understanding, in the face of legitimate concerns. In this context, it is possible to use pitch techniques to create desire; the desire to be united, to be patient, to be understanding… but no one would understand that the President not take the time to do so.
The goal of this speech is thus to reassure, to unite, to empower citizens. A pitch is therefore not essential in these sensitive situations.
3rd limit: When your audience already wants to know more
A pitch is a powerful exercise to engage, but it’s only the first step. As soon as your audience is seduced, it is necessary to provide elements that truly make your project a concrete reality.
Often, a pitch is associated with a sales exercise. But the job of a salesperson goes far beyond: it is necessary to transform the desire, to negotiate, to fuel the relationship, to identify needs… And for that it is necessary to argue to show the benefits, to bring strong KPI’s to your audience.
So, if your audience already wants to know more, the pitch will not help you. On the contrary, it can give the impression that you are very strong at creating desire but you have nothing concrete to offer.