A Horse With No Name

p0319826The key to pitching is relentless focus.

Think about it. When you’re building a website, everything, down to the color scheme, reinforces your brand. When you’re pitching a screenplay, even your tone of voice is in service to the type of story you’re telling.

But focus doesn’t start at the pitch. Focus starts long before then. Before you’ve parked that domain name or written Fade In, you need to first turn your laser focus onto your message.

Your message becomes your product, whether you are selling personal coaching or movie scripts or widgets. What you communicate is what you sell, so you need to be ruthlessly clear with yourself about what your message is and why it’s desirable. If you don’t, then like Frankenstein’s monster, your creation will be cobbled together from bits and pieces that don’t always quite fit.

Here’s an example: let’s say you have a horse. There are lots of things you can communicate about your horse. It’s a roan, it’s a colt, its name is Sir Geoffrey the Sixth. But if you want to catch the attention of an investor, only one thing matters: your horse is fast.

We know so much about our stories and our businesses that we get caught up trying to communicate all the details. They are true and they may be fascinating, but they’re not relevant to our customer. Whether we’re selling to a producer or consumer, all they want to know is the single detail that’s relevant to them.

Figure out what that is. Communicate only that. Connect over what matters to your audience, even if it means your horse has no name.