Perhaps the greatest asset you can develop in your creative and business arsenal is the art of the pitch. Selling. Especially when you are selling an idea.
But you can imagine it.
The pitch, like anything, is a skill. Some people are born with that skill. That innate ability to tell a story. Others struggle with it.
Peter Coughter was President of Siddall, Matus & Coughter Inc., one of the most respected advertising and communications agencies in the Southeast. His agency won tons of industry awards and recognition. Today, he is a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Brandcenter, and a consultant to advertising agencies on how to win the pitch.
Why am I introducing you to Peter? Because he has something to say that will help you. And I encourage you to read his book, “The Art of the Pitch”. But, if you want to dip your feet in, here’s a great way to start:
LISTEN TO THIS PODCAST between Peter and Mitch Joel.
It’s a wonderful conversation. When listening to this presentation you can’t help but think about yourself in a room with a potential investor(s), and pitching your idea. Perhaps you are in a group. Perhaps not. It’s the single greatest skill you can develop in this business (of film)… so why not pay more attention to it. To the craft of the pitch. And to the mechanics of pitching.
This is something I encounter all the time… it is impossible to be over rehearsed. It is possible to appear to be over rehearsed.
– Peter Coughter
How much time do you put into the pitch presentation before you walk into the room? The subtle difference that Peter cites above is at the core of his ideas. Some people think, “oh, you shouldn’t over rehearse because you won’t appear natural”. But that’s not really true.
Last year the Rolling Stones were preparing to go out on their 50th year anniversary tour. They spent three months holed up in London rehearsing songs that they have been singing for 50 years… a little cooler reference – Bruce Springsteen… he rehearses at what point in the song he’s going to raise his hands to heavens. But he is such a good performer, he makes it appear spontaneous. A big part of what we do is to appear that we are thinking about this idea for the very first time.
– Peter Coughter
The podcast is chalk full of interesting ideas. But what’s most interesting is that the application of these ideas are being taken from the context of doing creative presentation inside of a business setting. While not specifically designed for say, “the producer”, they are intrinsically to the benefit of a producer or director (or anyone in a creative business) to understand and implement and learn from these techniques.
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