A client of mine was looking for a pep-talk for a series of upcoming Hollywood pitches. These are the TV/Movie style pitches to ego-driven, sometimes eccentric, studio and production company executives who hear 30 idea-pitches a week. They are jaded, impatient and can be intimidating. Come to think of it, they are a lot like buyers in many industries. He asked, “What should I focus on in my preparation?” Here’s what I said – Think S.A.L.T.


  • Slow down – When we are nervous, we talk fast. It comes off as low confidence and you will start to overcompensate by talking even faster.
  • Ask – When you are told to pitch, don’t. All of the power shifts to the buyer like an audience at open-mic night with arms crossed and challenging you, “Ok, kid, impress me…” By taking that first chess move away and asking a key framing question or two up front, you re-set the power and energy of the meeting into a conversation, not a pitch.
  • Laugh – Not a nervous giggle, but rather, look for something that they say that is funny and laugh. Hyper-professionalism and stiff style does not create confidence in you or relax them. Most everyone wants to be entertaining, engaging…funny.
  • Talk Less – Cannot stress this enough. The buyer needs to do the talking. There are certain requirements around your credentials and your value that you need to say. Cover those clearly and quickly – then drive the conversation to their issues and challenges.

My client did great in his meetings. When we debriefed it was clear that the buyers opened up quickly when they realized that this was a conversation and not a pitch.

Have a big pitch coming up? Read my blog, 45 Seconds to a Killer Pitchto perfect your bio and make an impression. 

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