Pitching is part performance, part information session. It is a carefully designed ritual aimed to bait industry professionals into working with you. They’re business meetings after all.
According to Michael Hauge, writers need to divide their pitches into PREPARATION and EXECUTION.
REVIEW – go over the key elements with emotional impact. Think of it as a recommendation or what appears on the DVD box. You need to cover key elements such as hero and everyday situation they’re in, opportunity for growth and advernture (inner motivation), new situation to create a desire (outer motivation) and what makes goal impossible (conflict)?
RESEARCH – Who are you pitching to? What sort of material does the company normally produce? What are they looking for? Is it a general meeting to get to know you or a meeting specific to your project.
REHEARSE – Ensure your pitch sounds like a conversation rather than a recital. Don’t read verbatim. Send an email instead.
RAPPORT/ RELATIONSHIP – Establish connection with pitchee through common experience and acknowledgement. People prefer to work with people they like.
EXECUTION – START PITCHING – Don’t begin with title or logline. They may not be compelling or engaging. Begin with how you came up with the idea and what made it worth developing. What is means to you? Why you fell in love with it? Why does it matter? How does it impact on your view of the world? Perhaps a bot old school, but you can start with “What if…?”
REQUEST – Ask if your audience has any questions. Answer in ten seconds or less. Thank them for the meeting and ask the best way of getting a script to them. Ask for an appropriate time frame to follow up.
EMOTION – Pitch with excitement, passion and commitment.