Like it or not, life is one series of pitch presentations. It doesn’t matter if you are a 15 year old pitching yourself for a minimum wage job at McDonald’s, or you are billionaire Bill Gate pitching other billionaires to give donations to your charitable foundations. And everywhere in between, you may be giving a pitch to a graduate school to let you in, or to an investor to fund your startup. Or on a personal level, you’re trying to pitch your family to take a vacation where you want to go next year, even though they’re not as excited.
If you define success, in part, as accomplishing what you want in life, then tied into this is asking people to help you get there. This is what a pitch presentation is all about.
In my line of work, I found it’s relatively easy to train anyone to be pretty good at presenting and pitching their ideas (In fact, let me pitch you here on the idea of watching my latest YouTube video with 3 quick tips on how to be a better presenter). What’s far harder, is motivating people to simply pitch themselves more frequently.
When I analyze highly successful people’s careers, I find that the differentiator is usually not intelligence or education, or sometimes even hard work. The difference quite often comes down to simply being willing to give more pitch presentations more frequently.
There are countless stories of movie stars who were rejected the first 500 times they pitch themselves in a casting call. But they kept showing up to pitch their services as an actor.
Many star comedians pitch their jokes to audiences every night for a year without getting much of a laugh. But they kept on pitching their jokes.
Every YouTube video created by an influencer is essentially a pitch presentation to a worldwide audience. Whether you look at the early careers of MrBeast, or Gary Vaynerchuk, it’s clear that for those two and most others, the first 100 times they gave a pitch presentation online to the world, they didn’t have any success. No one really listened or said yes to much of anything they put out there.
The author Stephen King pitched his first novel to 80 publishers, being rejected every time, before one finally accepted.
The founders of the online learning marketplace, Udemy (Where I have published a few hundred courses), pitched their company to investors and were rejected the first 30 times, before they received a Yes answer.
A lot has been written about the role of tenacity and persistence when it comes to achieving success. But I believe the neglected part is the specific role of pitching your ideas to people. Pitching is a type of presentation and it makes people feel very vulnerable. When the answer is no, then the individual feels not simply that they failed to communicate, but they were rejected at a personal level.
The solution for the vast majority of humanity is to simply pitch less. Be happy with your current job. Keep that novel locked up in your desk drawer. Fantasize about raising money for your startup. Dream about a side gig of being a standup comedian.
But don’t stick your neck out by asking people to help you, or pitching gatekeepers, or starting your own YouTube channel to pitch the world.
This is a tragedy.
There’s so much untapped talent in the world and unrealized success because people are not willing to present more often, to pitch their ideas more frequently.
Of course, you can pitch a new business idea 1000 times and be unsuccessful each time because your message or your delivery, or both, are awful. But in most cases, anyone with average intelligence and the willingness to ask for feedback and learn, will get incrementally better.
If you keep getting better in your pitch presentations, and you keep giving more of them, your chances of becoming successful increase astronomically. On the other hand, if you stop giving pitch presentations after a couple of rejections, or if you never even give the first one, then your chances for success are always exactly 0%.
Some people want to increase their chances of being successful faster. If that sounds like you, you may wish to enroll in my free online course today at www.highstakespresenter.com.
Lately, I’ve given a lot of thought to how I can help and empower people to increase not only the quality but the quantity of their pitch presentations. So starting Thursday, October 12, 2023. I’m going to try something new.
At 11 AM Eastern time, I will be starting a new segment on my live weekly YouTube show. This segment will allow anyone to deliver a pitch presentation to me and my community, on any topic of their choosing. You can pitch a startup business idea, your own Web app development services, or fundraise for your own nonprofit. You can pitch your latest book or your own YouTube channel.
The main thing is, I want to create a safe space for people like you to deliver more pitch presentations and to improve. You’ll be given five minutes to present. After that, I may ask a few questions, and other members of the community can as well. After that, I will give my own professional analysis of what you did well as a speaker and presenter.
Very important, this is going to be a safe and respectful environment for business people, entrepreneurs, and experts to give pitch presentations. I will begin my analysis by cataloging everything I think you are doing well, stylistically and substantively, in your presentation pitch. Then, I will give one specific piece of feedback on how I think your presentation can be improved. Again, this will be done in a positive and respectful manner.
If you are interested in presenting this week or next, then please go to my community tab on my YouTube channel. There is no screening process, other than first come, first serve. So you’re not going to have to waste time filling out paperwork, or jumping through hoops, or appealing to gatekeepers.
Simply indicate in one sentence, the topic you would like to discuss in the community tab. My team will then write back to you and give you the Streamyard link so that you can appear on camera during our live session.
Again, anything goes. As long as you’re not pitching something illegal, pornographic or dangerous.
If you decide not to make a pitch presentation on my show, that’s OK. But I would ask you to reflect on when was the last time you gave a pitch for anything?
If you are not as successful in every sphere of life that you want to be, is it, perhaps, because you are not giving pitch presentations frequently enough? So, I urge you, start pitching more today, whether it’s on your own YouTube channel, to a local group of investors, or to your city Council if you’re looking to get more Pickleball courts built in your town.
Book that’s engrossing me right now. Extremely Online: The Untold Story of Fame, Influence, and Power on the Internet by Taylor Lorenz (Note: this is NOT an affiliate link, not that there’s anything wrong with that.)
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Looking to be more persuasive?
Join me LIVE this week on YouTube for a Question and Answer Session. Ask me anything related to communication and presentation training skills at 10:45 AM Eastern Time, October 12, 2023. Click here to Join
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