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Leadership Tip: In a Pitch, Don’t Tell Me Your Life Story

Why it's important to get to the point...

I took a call recently from someone who heard me speak at a conference. She was a producer and wanted to talk to me about a new venture and see if our team would be interested in partnering on the project.

I was curious, so we set up the call, and immediately, she started talking. I’m not exaggerating when I say that she talked for one hour nonstop. She actually started her story 30 years in the past and shared (in detail) her three decade personal and professional journey that led up to this moment. I tried interrupting to help her get to the point, but she was undaunted. She just kept talking.

Fortunately, it wasn’t a Zoom call, so during that hour while she rambled:
I put my phone on mute (she never noticed), and set up the lighting for a podcast I needed to do after the call.
She kept talking.
Answered about 20 emails.
She kept talking.
I started writing this blog post.
She’s talking as I write this.

And it wasn’t until the 55 minute mark that I finally heard her idea – the actual reason for her call. But by then, I’d completely lost interest because she just couldn’t get to the point.

The lesson? The longer it takes to explain your project or idea, the less chance of anyone being interested.

The people you need to support, invest, or donate to your idea or project are busy. If they weren’t, you wouldn’t be so interested in their support. So your job is to make your dream their dream.

So honor that. Don’t waste their time. Practice the pitch ahead of time. Get to the point.

Otherwise, listen for that “MUTE” sound on the other end of the phone…

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  1. It’s interesting and funny. It’s always good to go straight to the point. I enjoyed reading this post so much. Even when I was about typing this comment, I was careful not to ramble and waste your time 😅

  2. da Vinci didn’t have to paint the toenails on the Mona Lisa to make it beautiful. Tell me what I need to know to be more curious.

  3. Great post. It reminds me of something that happened when I was five years old…and then when I was fourteen…so I left for school at eighteen…same thing at my wedding…just last week I was standing in line at Starbucks thinking…

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