Reading Notes for:

Pitch Anything

By Oren Klaff

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

You can’t be scared of tension.  There are 3 Tension Patterns to use to regain attention when it’s dropping.   Constantly pulling in will make them cautious and anxious.   i.e…selling hard.  Is a signal of neediness.   Constantly pushing away will get them to eventually take the hint and go away.   Must have some tension.  Can’t be afraid to create tension.  Have to have some counter balance.  People like challenges of some sort.  They don’t like easy answers.  

Conflict is the basis of interesting human connections.   We come together as business people to find solutions to problems, not to admire the solutions that are presented to us.  If you don’t have a series of problems to overcome, then you don’t have a pitch narrative (series of tension loops that get resolved).  

Without the tension loops, there is nothing to keep the reader to stay engaged. 

Push Pull Pattern:   Guys, there is a real possibility that we are not going to be right for each other.  <pause> But, then again, if this does work out the combination of our forces will be something to be really dynamic/explosive/great.  

Medium Intensity Version:  There is so much more to a venture than an idea.  I mean, there is a venture capital company in San Francisco that doesn’t even care about the idea when it comes in.   All they care about is who’s involved and how passionate they are.  That makes sense.  Ideas are a dime a dozen.  What really matters is someone who is in charge with passion and integrity.   So, if you and I don’t have that view in common of passion, experience, and integrity it would never work out.    <pause> But that is crazy to think.   Of course you value people over smart ideas.  I have met corporate robots before that only care about numbers.   And you definitely are not robots.  So I think we have some very important things in common: our values system. 

High Intensity Version:  Based on the couple of reactions I’m getting from you, it seems like this isn’t a good fit.   You should only do deals where there is trust and deals that you strongly believe in.   So let’s just wrap this up for now.   And let’s try to see if there is a better fit on the next one.  <pause and start packing up stuff and be willing to leave if the target doesn’t stop you>


With all of the chemicals sloshing around, no matter how hard you work, the target’s desire is going to become fear and the tension will become anxiety.   The greatest problem in short-form-pitching is deciding which details to include and which to leave out.   Minimum information that you need to present to show up and be relevant. 

·       Budget:  what are the plans?  What happens if the plans go wrong?  Do you have the $$ to survive if something goes wrong.  Do you know how to budget well?   They are going to assume that you are going to absurdly optimistic and say that they are “conservative”

·       Unrealistic costs and bad projections are the most likely killers of new ventures.  

·       Don’t spend hardly any time projecting income. 

·       Who do you compete with?  Who are your competitors?   How easy is it for new competitors to come into the game?   How easy is it for people to switch products.


The Secret Sauce:  Need to show what your competitive advantage is based on.   Shows your staying power.   Describe the fundamental reason you are special, and unique.   No more than 10 min. 


Jerry Seinfeld:   I can walk into any town and people will recognize me.   But that only gets me 3 min.   After that, I better be good.  That’s about how much time the benefit-of-the-doubt gets you.