Thanks to Laura Mingail for inviting me to be a part of this panel. I’m always excited to talk about pitching! Great tips from our moderator Joy Yang and co-panelists Andra “The Legend” Sheffer and Valerie Fox.
I’m excited to be working with The Directors Guild of Canada to conduct a special “How to Deliver the Optimal Pitch” workshop next Monday (January 20, 2020) in Toronto.
Over 70 confirmed attendees. It’s going to be a packed house!
Great reception for “How to Deliver the Optimal Pitch” (September 26, 2019) hosted by WIFT-Toronto at Goodman’s office on Bay Street in Toronto.
“How to Deliver the Optimal Pitch” is coming to Halifax! In conjunction with Screen Nova Scotia, I will be conducting a full day workshop for emerging producers on creating and delivering the Optimal Pitch.
WOMEN IN FILM & TELEVISION TORONTO – Industry Speaker Series
September 26, 2019 @ 6:45 PM
Goodmans LLP – 333 Bay Street, Suite 3400
FREE for WIFT-T members, non-members $20 (plus HST).
Hope to see you there!
You’re at a cocktail party at the Banff World Media Festival. You scan the room for a friendly face. Suddenly, a colleague taps you on the shoulder and introduces you to a Decision Maker. In fact, for your project, this person is The Decision Maker. You shake hands. The Decision Maker asks: “What are you working on?”
A choice pitching opportunity can sometimes appear out of the blue.
Always be prepared.
You’ll be better at seizing opportunities if you have a polished pitch. At a minimum, thoroughly prepare your elevator pitch so you can describe your project concisely and persuasively. With a solid elevator pitch in your repertoire, you’ll feel more confident introducing your project to an important Decision Maker.
Of course, you could say: “I’ve got something really great, but I’m not ready to talk about it.”
Opportunity presented and opportunity lost.
As I wrote in a previous post (“Soft Pitching is High Risk” 11 April 2019), it’s risky to prematurely discuss your project with a Decision Maker. But it might be worth the risk if your elevator pitch is engaging and accurately summarizes your project.
Best case, you secure a meeting with the Decision Maker to discuss the project in greater depth. And even if that doesn’t happen, at least you’ve gathered precious intelligence and feedback.
No matter what, hopefully you’ve impressed the Decision Maker with your creativity and professionalism. But you won’t reap the reward if you don’t prepare for the opportunity.
Don’t be afraid to seek opportunities and always be “pitch-ready”.
See you at Banff 40 in June!
Fantastic news! “How to Deliver the Optimal Pitch” is returning to the Banff World Media Festival! Do not miss it.
Stay tuned for details!
Catch my “How to Deliver the Optimal Pitch” session this Saturday at the TORONTO SCREENWRITING CONFERENCE! It’s going to be EPIC!
Preparing and delivering a full pitch is inherently stressful.
The source of that stress comes from a simple realization. Your project might get rejected.
In fact, getting a response is the ultimate point of a pitch. Here’s what I’m doing, do you want to be involved? There may be discussion, there may be requests for more information, but the act of pitching inherently invites a response.
Unfortunately, this can feel high risk and lead to a temptation to “soft pitch”. You know: to not prepare a full, polished pitch, to just have a roundabout “off-the-cuff” conversation about your project. Nothing polished, nothing prepared. No biggie.
“Just to test the waters.”
That’s the sound of that strategy backfiring.
This half-hearted approach may seem low risk. You’re not pushing for a final decision, you just want to see if there’s interest. The danger of a “casual discussion” is that the Decision Maker might nonetheless make an evaluation of your project and decide that it’s not for them.
Now. You. Are. Done.
You’ve run the marathon and tripped ten meters before the finish line!
There’s truth to the cliche: “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” It’ll be difficult, if not impossible, to come back to that Decision Maker and do a proper pitch with that project.
The most unfortunate thing is that you haven’t given your project the opportunity to be presented in the best way possible – with a polished pitch.
It’s a fine balance. If you must talk about your project in advance of a meeting, keep it brief and high level (think Elevator Pitch). A Decision Maker will let you know if you’re in the ball park and whether a more robust conversation is necessary and appropriate.
But the safest bet requires an investment of time and effort: create a strong, concise, polished pitch that’s engaging and compelling. That way, whatever response you get from the Decision Maker, you’ll know that you’ve at least crossed the finish line and presented your project in the best way possible.
Started the new year with a bang. Conducted a pitch lecture/workshop with members of Facebook group Women Drawn Together hosted by Super Sonics Post Production.
Workshopped three brave participants’ pitches.