Someone asked me the other day how I go about pitching. Apparently I'm ' good in a room'.
I don't think there's any great secret to it. But here's what I do.
Firstly I make sure I know exactly what I'm pitching. Sounds ludicrous I know, but I've listened to pitches from other writers which sound more like a jumble of ideas rather than a constructed 'story'.
So for example, I'm pitching a cop show. What is it about this cop show that is different from all the other cop shows? How do I get that across in the shortest possible time but to maximum effect? The main characters? How to I get across the interactions between them and the effect on ongoing drama?
In my case the answer to both is carefully chosen sound bites. I pretty much know exactly what I'm going to say before the meeting. No waffle. No uhms and ahs.
But the MOST IMPORTANT thing I do is just before the meeting when I convince myself that this is the best goddamn idea they've heard this year. I'm wetting myself to write it and am passionate about the concept. [Note, actually wetting oneself is not a good idea]
By doing this the enthusiasm I feel can become infectious. And why should anyone else be enthusiastic about your project if it isn't shining out of you as you pitch?
There is a balance of course. Wild enthusiasm can be off putting. It's more a 'confident' enthusiasm you are aiming for. You know it's a good project. You know you can write the hell out of it and the audience are going to love it.
Maybe they will throw you an awkward curve ball or two after the pitch, something you haven't thought of like who do you see as the female lead or what demographic is the target audience but you'll find that if you have done your pitch properly then the odd uhm and ah here is easily forgiven.
So that's it in a nutshell. The English Dave pitch. Know what you are pitching. Construct your well chosen soundbites. And be enthusiastic.
A little self depricating humour doesn't go amiss either!
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