As we gear up for our next GMCA workshop with Cathy Edelstein on pitch speeches, I thought I would share an article I recently came across in British Airways’ Business Life magazine about pitches. Although the article offers ten top tips on how to win a pitch in a business environment, there are three tips in particular we can use to present and market ourselves effectively that relate to some of the topics we’ve been discussing in class this semester.

Tip 1: Don’t Be Too Generic

The article reveals that often times pitches are “simple ‘cut and paste’ or template driven responses”, and are as a result unsuccessful. The solution is to stop talking about yourself and start talking about the prospective company because if you mention your own plans more than you do theirs, your pitch will fail. This tip really speaks to the issue of relevance. As we’ve discussed in class, the most effective messages are the ones which are relevant to your target audience.

Tip 2: Do Your Research

The fact that this tip is even on the list once again goes to show how vital research is to success. Conducting research will help you gain a clear understanding of a company’s corporate objectives and give you insights into how you can better help them achieve their set goals. Doing this will also help you be less generic and will ultimately set you apart from others.

Tip 3: Use Quality Presentation Materials

In this particular case I would like to think that ‘presentation materials’ refers to more than just papers and binders, but to the actual style and technique of your presentation. Throughout the semester we’ve been practicing giving presentations in abstract, concrete, symbolic and descriptive ways, and our pitch speeches shouldn’t be any different. The article also reveals that if your pitch looks like a quality production, your reader will immediately consider it favorably. In short, the medium is the message.


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