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What Exactly Do You Want?

A few weeks ago a guy invited me to lunch to pitch me a project.  He had great print support – well designed brochure, budget breakdown, and even a supplemental book he’d written and published.  The problem was, after an hour of talking, I had no idea what he wanted me to do.  He talked a little about needing to shoot a documentary on the project, then a little about over-all media consulting, then needed advice about possible sponsors, and more.  I kept asking, “So how can I help?”  Then he was off to the races again.  I asked again, “What specifically do you need from me?”  Once again, he talked another 15 minutes.

Finally in frustration, I brought the meeting to a close, shook his hand and wished him well.  And to this day I have no idea why he scheduled the meeting or needed to meet me.

When you pitch a project – whether it’s a movie, a non-profit project, a new company idea, or something else – please be very clear about what you want.  The person you’re pitching to knows little or nothing about the project.  So give them some background, and then clearly articulate what you want them to do.

Make it short, sweet, and to the point.

Otherwise, stay at home and talk to yourself.

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2 Comments

  1. Bottom line information almost always boils down to the famous top 6 questions when preparing for a presentation, pitch, request, directions, etc.: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? Vagueness is frustrating in communication!  You either have to read the persons mind, which is impossible, or read between the lines while playing the 101 questions… I think that’s where the term “pulling teeth” came from.  I’m with you on this Phil!

  2. I find it strange that the person was so well prepared in some ways but did not say how you could help. Maybe he was too reserved to say the project needs a “partner” (co-producer) who could help market the project up the industry ladder. Maybe he thought any holes in his project’s development would be evident to you, expecting you to point out where and how you could help…because he didn’t know exactly if and where help might be needed.

    If you did not see any place for your help, then it was best to have wished him well.

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