Telling your story…

24 Mar

In the world of film & television there is an art form described as pitching; pitching is what you do when you try to “sell” the story you have on offer to interested parties. I think the rules for pitching transcend the film industry and go right across many specters of life. That drunk guy at a party who is prattling on endlessly about his last failed relationship… he could do with a lesson in pitching.

Firstly, the main point of a pitch is not to summarize your whole story but to hook the listener… you’ve got to make them want to know more; it’s the best or most interesting hooks in your story that make your audience want to hear or read more.

Secondly, pitching (story telling) is a two way conversation; even though the other person may not be speaking if you are listening with your eyes you can tell when you are getting nibbles; what parts they are liking, what parts make them stretch and yawn.

Thirdly, duration is important, I try to get my screenplays down to a nine sentence pitch; the truth is if you can’t get your listeners attention in the first three then you need a better hook.

Fourthly, pitching is all about practice so tell as many people as possible; tell the guy at the bus stop, the pizza delivery girl, the plumber, your cab driver, tell everybody; not only will your pitching improve out of sight but it will help you know your audience and refine your story.

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2 Responses to “Telling your story…”

  1. Becky March 26, 2009 at 8:19 am #

    This sounds like a great way to market. Who knows maybe the pizza delivery girl’s dad is the important person you need for your next step. TerpCreek.com

  2. Steffen Konrath March 25, 2009 at 10:16 pm #

    Geoff, maybe it is not the telling in the sense of telling words, maybe pitching is all about telling in the true sense of communication: by words, by gestus, by how you show up yourself. People sometimes tell more, if they don’t talk. At least it is something I experienced during my long years in online marketing. – The question is, what if you can’t show up, does marketing work then as well?

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