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Fix the Pitch

How to craft compelling, dazzling pitchbooks. Thoughts, ideas, and inspiration to help construct advanced financial analysis, build stunning data visualizations and tips for mastering client meetings.

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Two steps to become pitch perfect

Adrian CrockettAdrian Crockett

The American Film Institute lists Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as one of the greatest films of the past 100 years. It was a notable movie for many reasons, one of which being the first time Disney applied its pioneering storyboard process to movie-making. Pre-visualizing a sequence by mapping individual scenes on separate pieces of paper and displaying it on a board has since become so integral to storytelling that it’s considered a foundational step for any narrative process.

And this is why you need to adopt it, too.

There are two key reasons to get good at storyboarding:

  1. It keeps the story moving forward, leading to a key takeaway.
  2. Digging deep into the story flow makes it more malleable; meaning if a meeting gets cut short you know what your key points are and can ensure they get air time.

Let’s first look at building your story.

Take a literal step back to think critically about its flow and structure.

Examine the layout of each page. Is it easy to read and understand? Is everything grammatically correct and clear?

By now you’ve created the perfect pitchbook. But, you get to the meeting and there is a client fire drill. Your 60 minutes is reduced to 15. Crap.

It doesn’t mean you’re finished, but it does mean you have to adjust on the fly. Given this, I always practice indexing my presentation. Read Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds for how to do this. At a high-level, it’s an elevator pitch for each of the following parts:

Imagine you only have 15 seconds to speak on each—what would you say? By practicing this, your presentation becomes elastic enough to stretch from 15 seconds to 60 minutes.

This is even more critical if the time management of the meeting is out of your hands. A chatty co-presenter can swiftly cut your ten minutes down to five, and you need to be able to adapt.

With my team, we conduct dry runs for not only the full allotted time but we also cut that by 10%, 25%, and 50%. It may sound extreme, but after a ten-minute delayed start, ten minutes of introductions, and ten minutes of questions a 50% time cut can fast become a reality.

I’ll be sharing more on how to be pitch perfect. How are you practicing your pitchbooks? Let me know at adrian@pellucid.com.

Find out how to elevate your pitchbook, visit www.pellucid.com.

CEO & Co-Founder of Pellucid Analytics. Former Credit Suisse group head with nearly 20 years on Wall Street. Melding design, analytics, and tech to produce amazing client-ready content in minutes.

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