Go Screw the Pitch

Screw the pitch

No one ever sets out to screw the pitch or screw up their presentation. But so many people do because they don’t prepare properly and/or assume (falsely) what the audience wants.

But for anyone who wants to screw the pitch (or for anyone who has suffered in the audience) here are my top 10 fulfilment tips.

Enjoy the comedic, funny but true, value.

Go screw the pitch – 10 Top Tips

1. Ignore the brief

Don’t waste time reading the boring stuff that says ‘essential reading’ in large print at the top of the page. Believe in your gut and your ability to wing it. No one will notice you’ve missed the fundamental detail or point of the exercise. If you are going to screw the pitch, just say it was a misunderstanding. Put the unused paper to good use – think fuel, aeroplane or possibly hat…

2. Plan & Prepare in minutes

Get ready without any meaningful thinking, research or rehearsal. Because here’s the thing: The market is everyone, your product is unique because no-one’s ever had such a brilliant idea before; and as such no competitors exist. Bish, bash, bosh – dead simple and bound to impress. Celebrate with a drink. Next…

3. Assume your role in the team

If you are going to screw the pitch and you know what you’re doing, do no more. Assume everyone can read your mind and are as good as you at spouting or saying nothing. Convince yourself that no one you’re pitching to will have any idea about teamwork or communication. If necessary, lead all talking or hope everyone else will bail you out.

4. Demonstrate emotional un-intelligence

Throw as many random ideas at the panel as you can and expect some to stick. If people you’re talking at appear confused by your word-endowed 154 slide PowerPoint presentation, confront them about their lack of knowledge and/or understanding. Where possible shame or patronise. You’re top dog. People need to know their place.

5. Forget any focus

If you are going to screw the pitch there’s no need for any specific message. Think style over substance. Random ideas that leave your mouth a micro-second after being thought about will win through. The panel or audience will fall in love with your sparky personality and the genius of your mind.

6. Be a Negative Influence

Spend hours in front of mirrors practising drab, monotonic drawl and babble until you are brilliant at it. Phase out any intonation, passion and non-verbal signs of enthusiasm. On arrival shun all pleasantries. Be openly disdainful and distrustful to anyone who dares to question. Better still, don’t listen to any question or instruction. Loud random burping and wind-breaking is always a bonus.

7. Never justify what you are saying

Market research as well as background information is over-rated. If anyone asks you the ‘why?’ question during the pitch, just raise your eyes to the ceiling and tut loudly. Then move on and forget the question was ever asked. Remind yourself that classy presentation waffle should never be derailed by seemingly irrelevant queries. If you are going to screw the pitch, avoid clarity and worthwhile information.

8. Be unrealistic

Promise the world, get the deal and get the hell out. Who cares if your offer does not work at the price offered? It’s only about winning and getting it over and done with. The decision-makers are all mugs anyway and wasn’t it Churchill who said business was all about short-term victories?

9. Things not going well? Make a vague offer

Do your best to camouflage the special features you offer. General ‘guff’ wins through. Feel the joy of being safe in the crowd and following others rather than stand out and risk being chosen. You never wanted the deal anyway. Close with the killer line: “You can take it or leave it, I couldn’t give a monkeys.” If you are going to screw up a pitch for sure, you now have it in a bag that has more holes than bag.

10. Sensing disaster? Panic, freeze and really screw the pitch

Symptoms including shakes, dry-mouth syndrome, mind emptiness and/or dizziness should be treated as follows: Step 1. Visualise a big red button that says ‘Panic’. Step 2. Push it. Step 3. Don’t say a word and glow red. Step 4. Sweat. Step 5.  Laugh or cry uncontrollably. Step  6. Think about that button again and repeat. Note, if this joyful experience happens to another member of your team do not intervene or support; much better to pull up a chair, watch and rejoice it’s not you standing there (taking pictures is perhaps pushing it). Watch this great film from Vooza which highlights many of this post’s points.

Alternatively, you can do the exact opposite of all the above and discover the joy of working in a team and persuading others that what you have to offer is really worthwhile and hugely rewarding for all concerned. To learn more from one of the world’s leading experts on this subject, read Jon Steel’s superb ‘Perfect Pitch‘.

Key Learning Points: Highly effective pitches require research, practice and lots of preparation. If all the background work is done well you can discover brilliance and achieve much higher levels of self-confidence & self-esteem. You’ll also earn more.

Other reference material you might just value…

Ten tips for pitching an innovative business idea or solution

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