How Pitching Can be Like a Scary Movie
It’s dark outside, and you’re alone in the house. The rain pounds on the windows, rattling them in a creepy way. You hear creaking behind you, so you turn around. The door to the basement sways ajar. With shaking hands, you set your glass of wine on the counter and tiptoe your way over to the door…
I hate scary movies because of the scary parts. If I’m watching something and it gets scary, I oftentimes find myself instinctively covering my eyes. But then I look through a tiny opening by parting my fingers so I can see what’s happening. This creates the illusion of safety, protecting me from things I don’t want to see but still allowing me to gauge the situation.
Imagine yourself getting ready to pitch someone. Now imagine that your pitch consists of a scary movie. Assume your audience doesn’t like scary movies, and they are watching your pitch through a tiny opening between the fingers over their eyes. The individual keeps shutting their fingers, then slowly opens up a crack to see what you are saying, then suddenly clenches their fingers closed again.
If this absurd situation actually happened, I want you to ask yourself, “What core nuggets would you want them to know during the short times that they were peeking through their fingers?”
Put your hands over your eyes and peek through a small crack between your fingers and notice your visibility range. Imagine now that you only have this opportunity when someone is getting introduced to your idea for the first time.
When people look at things through a filter, it helps them eliminate what’s unnecessary. If you’ve ever had to clean out your closet because you’re moving to a place with less space, you’ll understand the importance of filtering in real life. You have to get rid of everything but the core clothes that you need.
Imagine that each person you pitch has a different-sized closet in their brain for your information. Some may have small closets due to lack of attention, or some may have larger closets because they are very passionate about the things you’re bringing into the space. Understand that you cannot fit everything you want to pitch into their respective closets.
In the fast-paced, reduced attention-span world we live in, it is crucial to be able to get across enough information to get people excited but not too much information to overwhelm them.