The ‘sine qua non’ of any successful pitch, confidence.
Whether in politics, business, or pitching scripts in the extreme world of Hollywood, it is confidence that separates winners from losers. In an entertaining, perceptive paper, scriptwriter Matthew Faulk writes of his experiences pitching scripts to studio bosses where confidence is all:
“Executives smell fear. If they think I have the slighest doubt about what I’m pitching, they’ll pounce. Any idea you’re not quite sure about, they’re certainly not going to be sure about. Therefore, over-riding conviction about the idea is an absolute pre-requisite. This requires a great deal of rehearsal. I practice and practice. The words must come tripping easily off the tongue, for any hesitation will be interpreted as doubt or fear. And fear breeds fear.”
Faulk goes on to say that film executives are also nervous people. But then so are voters which is why, right now, the confidence of McCain, galvanised by Palin, is undermining Obama who has lost his. It is his ebullient confidence that carries all before him for Boris. It is Gordon Brown’s lack of it that makes life so tough for him and would-be supporters.
In business pitches the recipients, if not nervous, are apprehensive. The decisions they must take concern the future. Since this can never be certain, it is your confidence that will get their vote.