The pitch may have moved on from the days when a firm handshake and a set of overhead projector slides might suffice but some fundamentals never change.
With technology marketing dominated by digital ‘distance selling’, the pitch presents a unique opportunity for up-close and personal engagement with an audience sat within the sales funnel.
The pitch is the equivalent of a live stage performance; an opportunity to wow an audience by feeding off the unique energy that only comes from everyone being in the moment.
In the technology world, Steve Jobs was arguably one of the finest exponents of the pitch. For more than three decades, he transformed product launches into an art form. He may have benefitted from expensive minimalist staging and some carefully orchestrated audience anticipation but he still had to single-handedly deliver a winning performance.
Jobs’ pitch method included pen and paper planning; using the rule of three; introducing an antagonist; making numbers meaningful; using zippy words and revealing what he called a ‘Holy Smoke’ moment. But above all, Jobs would ruthlessly and relentlessly distil the essence of every product into simple one-liners such as ‘the world’s thinnest smartphone’.
Of course, it would be interesting to imagine how Steve Jobs might have handled a rainy Monday morning pitch to an un-primed audience of business and technical decision makers in a cramped meeting room somewhere off the M25. However, given the challenge, it’s difficult to imagine him not using some of the techniques that can play just as successfully to an audience in Swindon as they could in San Francisco.
Take a look at our quick guide to discover how content can be more ‘killer’ and less ‘filler’.