The Roasted Chicken Rule of Pitching

p0316729I recently threw a dinner party. To say this is a rare event is an understatement, and for good reason: I am not a great cook. I’m not even very good; the most I will admit to is “adequate.” So what did I do?

I did exactly what you should do when you’re going out to pitch. I played to my strengths.

I call this the Roasted Chicken Rule. The main course has to be something you know you can pull off. This is not the place to experiment with truffle oil or fancy trussing techniques.

The heart of your pitch should be something you are comfortable doing. If you want to use visuals, that’s great – just make sure it’s technology you can use in your sleep. Don’t feel obliged to act things out, don’t let anyone insist that you use props. For most people, the best way to present the story of their pitch is simply to tell it, clearly and cleanly. Storytelling has been around for millennia; it’s hard to top that.

But you know what it is that you do best. Playing to the emotion? Clever twists and turns? Surprising characters and deep relationships? Whatever it is you do well, focus on making that the cornerstone of your pitch.  

Side dishes are where one can get more creative. If you want to follow up with something more snazzy than your traditional synopsis – maybe a “Case File” or some visuals – that’s an opportunity to show your personality and build relationship, maybe even snag a little extra enthusiasm. But you won’t get the chance to follow up if the execs got indigestion from your pitch.