Pitching it right

Today we’re thinking about the difference between pitches and presentations…

In other words, we’re also thinking: how does one pitch a presentation and present a pitch?

And yes, we know some of you might be thinking: what’s the difference?

And – what difference does it make?

To which, some thoughts on how we get our brain cells re-activated to approaching these hardwired (and perhaps hardened) concepts in fresh and fluid ways.

When we think ‘pitch’, the first thing that comes to the corporate part of our creative mind is ‘sales pitch’ or ‘elevator pitch’ (and everyone knows what those are all about).

Today, we’d like to step back a little and consider the source of this word.

In other words, think lateral.

  1. The first association that springs to mind is sports. For cricket fans amongst us, the word ‘pitch’ is rich with inspirational possibilities – but today we choose two other sports for our meditation –  baseball (of course) and also (perhaps lesser-known but even more focused and apt) golf.

In both these fields of play, pitch is what separates the good from the great, the memorable from the mundane. 

2. For those inclined to outdoor activities like camping, the word ‘pitch’ is invariably related to the image of a tent, firmly held in place, a refuge against all weather conditions, in all kinds of challenging terrains – that is, if it’s properly pitched!

In other words, knowing how to pick the ground, and how to stake the pegs properly in place is what we learn from this association. Pitching the tent right is a matter of expertise and practise, and yes (sometimes) even survival. 

3. And finally, we choose music for our other source of inspiration. The perfect pitch of those voices that turn singers into stars, that resonate in incomparable ways – emotionally as well as technically – that’s food for thought.

Getting the tone right, hitting the frequency that produces the desired effect – are points we keep in mind when scoring our next award-winning pitch.

So, while all the wisdom on getting pitches right (by getting to the point, keeping it short, cutting to the chase and so on) remain relevant, you can give yourself a new set of entry points by approaching the next big pitch through a different paradigm.