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How to Make the Perfect Pitch

Put your body into it.

We want you to try a thought experiment. Imagine you're alone in a crowded restaurant. Close your eyes. When you open them, what attracts your attention? The color of a dress? Someone moving? The sound of a voice? A waiter balancing a tray of food, navigating like a dancer between tables? Someone eating? We're using all of our senses. Sound, motion, the visual, a tricky two-step, the smell and taste of food, touch (real or imagined).

We are physical creatures, and we use our senses to engage with the world around us. The greater the appeal to those senses, the more we are attracted.


Who is the Compelling SPEAKER?

The Compelling Speaker creates a relationship with her audience and then presents a well-organized, compelling message. She is a storyteller delivering her story with authority, passion, and clarity. She is a performer who knows how to exploit her audience’s senses.The Speaker is comfortable on the stage since she owns it.


Use the Senses

Jobs' know how to exploit the senses, you can deliver a perfect pitch. Perhaps you remember a Ronco ad (in its day among the best): its pitches were built on one or two or more senses. One of the recent best pitchmen, Steve Jobs, understood how to exploit the senses too. When you know the principles Ronco and Jobs use, you will deliver a perfect pitch—whether to sell your product or service or attract an investor.

Jobs' introduction of the MacBook Air (2008) is a classic. Within the first few minutes, he uses most of the senses. He's in continual motion. His hands talk to us. He handles the MacBook Air with sensual delight. He balances it in one hand, pulls it from an interoffice envelope as though he were a magician revealing a secret card trick, complete with the crackle of the paper and the delight of a performance well done. And he talks to his audience as though they, too, were a part of his performance.

He seduces us. We want to hold the MacBook Air, use it, show it off. What if it's pricey? Desire is never cheap.

Use the Facts

But don't be misled. Using the senses only sets the stage and engages the audience. Jobs provides facts—comparisons with competitors, the features and benefits of his product, the cleverness of its construction, and its delivery of value.

Connect to Your Audience

A good speaker doesn't talk to his audience. She talks with it, using a conversational voice, inviting them to respond and comment. That's what Jobs does. He encourages applause, exclamations, and participation. Along the way, Jobs thanks us as though we too were responsible for the innovation he's presenting.

What Else Can We Learn from Steve Job's Performance?

  1. Start with a theme. "There is something in the AIR." The "air" is the "MacBook Air," but it's also something more -- what we smell and breath and desire.

  2. Tell a story. Jobs' story is the search for the "thinnest" laptop -- what he and his colleagues did to meet the challenge of providing a laptop we can take anywhere.

  3. Be positive and enthusiastic. Jobs punctuates his descriptions with words of the "true believer" -- "the best," "the thinnest," "gorgeous," "incredible," "awesome," "great," "unprecedented," and "amazing." If you don't believe what you're selling, who will?

  4. Be visual. Jobs makes his numbers into visual statements. The exact size of the screen that distinguishes a MacAir from a Sony TZ is not what is memorable. The visual comparison is.

  5. Give them a bonus. The perfect pitch ends with a surprise: "and there's more" or "one last thing." It's this "something more" that makes the audience bite. We know we are seeing an excellent product – well worth the price – but there's something more: it's environmentally conscious. That "extra" hooks the audience and promises more for the buck.

A perfect pitch is the work of a speaker having fun. When she's having fun, the audience will have fun too. Belief follows from that, and your audience will not look elsewhere.


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