Any pitch however informal calls for a degree of performance. You need to project personality and sell yourself before you can sell your company or your solution. For some, the so-called born salesmen, this comes naturally. For most of us there is a need to find a little of the actor inside, to put on a show that convinces.
A talented young drama student explained how an actor gets into a role. It starts with what are known as the “given circumstances”. These are the facts that describe the basics of the character. Sex, age, occupation, nationality and of course the script itself. For the pitch these facts will include the content and structure, the rational arguments and proposals. (For many this is as far as ‘performance’ goes.)
For the actor the next critical step is to understand the “super objective”. Just what is it that the play is all about and what must this role contribute emotionally to get the desired audience response. In a pitch the aim will be to put across the proposal, of course, but to do this in a way that makes an emotional connection with an audience of perhaps only three or four.
The actor does not make an instant judgement on how to imbue the role with an emotional truth. It takes time. “Time to ponder” and find a way into the role that is not forced but draws on a personal interpretation. Only then can they perform with the honesty demanded of good performance.
Most pitches will not have the benefit of a great script and quite often the content difference between pitches will be slight. In this situation the temptation is to perfom with what can at best be termed ‘manufacured enthusiasm’ or ‘professional passion’.Generally speaking this will not make the holy grail of an emotional connection. The solution? Take time and search for an element in your pitch that allows you get personal, a story perhaps, that helps you talk with real conviction and even passion.