Pitching is a unique language of the mind. Unfortunately, the part of the brain that delivers a pitch is not the same part of the brain that receives it. Therefore, a skilled translator is needed–which is where you come in! Nolan Yager is a student at the University of Utah and a frequent pitcher who has utilized his knowledge of human psychology to become this effective translator. To do the same, you will need to understand something about how the brain works.
The brain is divided into two systems which each play a vital role in the pitch. The systems are comprised of System One and System Two: the former is the narrative, fast-thinking component of the brain, and the latter is the methodical, logical and rational component. The pitch comes from System Two and is received by System One. So how does an entrepreneur or student like Yager overcome this mental bridge? Here are some tips from Nolan’s Workshop, in case you missed it!
1. “Money is just a commodity. You are the prize.”
Start your pitch with your end goal in mind: reaching an understanding or deal with your audience that provides what you covet. It isn’t, are you good enough for this job? It’s, is this job good enough for me? Have your audience believe in the urgency and consequence for lack of completion of your goal by working in reasoning and stories to maintain attention. The style and content for both of these techniques should be rooted in components that appeal to System One by keeping it brief, expressing a time pressure and exposing an element of danger or uncertainty.
2. “Framing is applicable not just in pitching as an entrepreneur – but in any business encounter.”
Presenting yourself in a particular manner, or framing, is a way to access your audience’s System One. Some common frames and examples are as follows:
- Power frame: Perpetrate a small act of defiance. Make light of a minor constraint or rule that your audience could behold you to.
- Analytical frame: Use an “intrigue story.” Explain the coincidental and ingenious origin of your product.
- Time frame: Express the value of your time. Your professor only has 15 minutes to meet with you? Well that’s good because you only have 10 before your next class.
3. “You can get local star power in any social situation.”
Commonly referred to as “the takeaway,” it is vital that you leave a lasting impression. People want what is hard to get, so slightly pulling away at a peak of interest at the end of your pitch will spark your listeners’ yearning to hear more. Above all, do not be needy, appearing this way could kill your upper-hand in a successful pitch.
The techniques expressed by Yager come from the S.T.R.O.N.G. method. A way of delivering pitches defined by Setting the frame, Telling the story, Revealing the intrigue, Offering the prize, Nailing the hook-point and Getting the deal. Accomplishing your perfect pitch is achieved from a qualitative delivery and quantitative content. Skilled “translators” between the two brain Systems know how to maintain interest as well as the confidence of their listeners in their own knowledge. Yager trusts this seamless and continuous conversation between the two brain systems to attain his goals in every pitch – and so can you!