Reading Notes for:

Pitch Anything

By Oren Klaff

An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal

There is a fundamental disconnect between how we present ideas and how they are received.

Frames create context and relevance.  He who controls the frame controls the conversation.   Deframing = destroying the frame.

A great pitch is about getting and controlling attention.

Intrigue pane= something they would be interested in or curious about.    Adding something of intrigue to the pitch like “And a particular NFL quarterback is involved”

We are our own worst coach.  The problem is that we know too much about our subject to see what others will see.  We need to see our pitch through fresh eyes – the eyes of people who are seeing the info for the first time.

There is an evolutionary defect in our brain that keeps us from pitching right.

The brain developed in 3 stages.   First was the Crocodile brain.  Generates most survival fight or flight messages.  Strong basic emotions.   Minimal reasoning.  Humans are small weak and old among species.  So instinct for safety had to develop first and deep evolutionarily.

Midbrain determines the meaning of things in social situations.

Neocortex is our problem solving ability.   It generates answers.   Developed last.

There is a disconnect between message and receiver.  When we pitch something, its the neocortex doing the work.  Because its mostly language.

However when hearing it, we process from old to new.  So pitches are designed by new but first worked on by old.   You can’t get to their neocortex without working through crocodile brain first.

Croc brain will instinctively say, “since this is not an emergency how can ignore or spend the least amount of time on it?”   Very short sighted view of the world.   Says “if this is not dangerous or new and exciting, ignore.   Or “Just summarize it, and forget about the details.”   Don’t send anything to neocortex unless its REALLY unusual and exciting – and safe.

If your pitch is complicated or contains complex language, without visual cues, then it is likely to be perceived as a “threat”.

You don’t want your pitch to get stick in the amygdala.  That processes fear.

9 of 10 pitches that go through the croc brain get coded one of 3 ways.

  1. Boring = ignore it.
  2. Dangerous= fight or run.
  3. Complicated= accidentally pass it on in a severely truncated form.

New rules of engagement.  There are 2 rules we ask ourselves after a pitch.  1. Did we get through.   2.  Was the message well received?

Your message must make sure 2 things happen.   Don’t trigger fear alarms.  Make sure that it gets recognized as something positive, interesting, and out of the ordinary.   A pleasant novelty.