Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff [Book Summary – Review]

Pitching is a skill everybody should master. No matter what your occupation is, whether you are a dentist or a securities broker, you will face times where you need to persuade people. Sadly, people will perceive what you say to them differently. To grasp this difference and cope with it, we should dive into the advancement of our brains.

Simply, our brains have developed in three distinct steps, thus in three different components: the primitive reptilian component, “the croc brain”, evolved at the beginning. This is a basic tool fundamentally centered on survival and producing powerful instincts such as the willingness to run away from an enemy. Secondly, the midbrain evolved. This component enables us to grasp more complicated circumstances like social interplays. Lastly, the advanced neocortex developed, enabling judgment and examination to grasp complicated matters.

In the pitching, our neocortex works to put your thoughts you want to explain into words. However, the listeners do not handle your words with their neocortex initially. Rather, they use their primitive reptilian component that takes ideas and they disregard anything that is not novel and enthusiastic for them. They may even understand your words as threatening when your words appear their primitive reptilian component as intangible. This causes your listeners to run away from this condition.

These are the reasons why you have to adapt your pitch for the primitive reptilian component. The primitive reptilian components are basic, so your talk must be plain, tangible, and focalized on the broad view. Furthermore, you should be certain that the primitive reptilian component perceives what you tell as new and favorable so that your talk can be carried to the further components of the brain.

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Chapter 1 – To maintain the listeners’ interest, generating want and stress is needed.

The listeners’ interest is a crucial part you would want during your pitch. To get this well, studies have demonstrated that you should arouse two senses in the pitch: want and stress. Wants evoke when your audience sees a prize, and stress evokes when you tell them they may miss things, such as chances, at the end of this social meeting. When we think of neurons, this releases two neurotransmitters in your audience’s brain: dopamine and norepinephrine.

Dopamine is a hormone that understands prizes and stimulates wants. A likely prize could be the enjoyment of figuring out something, like fitting all pieces of a puzzle together. So, if we want to release dopamine in our audiences’ brains, we need new things with a delightful reward, such as an unanticipated but fun preview of your end-product.

In contrast, norepinephrine produces warnings and releases stress in the person. If your talk persuades your audience that there are things in danger, a norepinephrine secretion will happen in their brain.

To produce stress, a little dispute, with a “push-pull strategy”, will be necessary. In other words, you need to initially tell them something that pushes them away, such as “Perhaps we are not suitable for one another.”. Next, you need to oppose this and pull the audience back to you by telling them “If we are suitable, that would be fabulous!”.

The push-pull strategy produces warnings in the audience because they feel like they may miss a reward. According to the circumstances, you can benefit from these robust “push-pull” utterances, specifically when you feel that the audience is starting to lose attention.

Chapter 2 – To orchestrate a gathering, manage the frames first.

According to their acumen, culture, and traditions, people observe any condition with a distinct perspective. Frames, the different perspectives of people, decides our perceptions of social conditions like gatherings or any marketing presentations. They also decide who commands those conditions.

At the time two persons come together, the two frames of them collide with each other. The more powerful frame will win this collision. Think about a case where a policeman draws you apart because of driving too fast. The policeman has a powerful “moral-authority frame” and your frame is weaker “excuse me-frame”. We can see that if these two collide with each other, the policeman’s frame will win. Thus, the collision, from its length to its scope and demeanor, will be guided by the policeman.

People frequently come up with such collisions of frames in commercial life; while consumers are concerned about prices, you might be concerned about the quality of the goods you are selling. Both sides will try to make their concern the other’s concern as well.

If your frame wins the collision, you can command the frames in any condition; in other words, whatever you say will be perceived as canon by the consumers. In a pitch, this is a very significant benefit. If you have no command of the frame, you can persuade no one for something.

Chapter 3 – The types of frames one faces a lot are the power, time, and analyst frames, and one should know how to oppose them.

During a pitch or a marketing gathering, you can face different types of frames, and it is very significant you select which one to oppose wisely.

In most cases, your object will choose the power frame that radiates hubris. You should not act as if you are accepting the power of your object. Rather, to break the frame down, defy and deny; for instance, put your pitching documents far away from the object if they look like they do not care.

The frame we also frequently face is the time frame that a person declares command on time with a statement like having only ten minutes more. To not allow this to break your balance, you need to contrast this with a statement like: “That is OK, for me, it is only five.”.

An especially deadly frame is the analyst frame, expressed by the obsession with little details and statistics. If your object has this frame, he/she tends to dive deep down into any little technological and monetary details, which would bug your pitch.

In these circumstances, give a straight and high-level response to the inquiry and immediately continue your pitch. The investigation will come later. Before further inquiries to be directed to you, oppose the analyst frame with the intrigue frame. In other words, tell a captivating individual tale and do not finish it: “… so we were falling inside a completely dark plane with not knowing what will be our end. OK, let’s continue with the pitch.”. You will see that the attention of the audience is changed to you and allowed the presentation to be individual one more.

Chapter 4 – Utilize rewards so that the audience will look for your approval.

The crucial frame for you to learn how to utilize is the prize frame, which can be used in many different conditions and against lots of contrasting frames.

In general, in a pitch or while marketing something, the audience thinks that their cash is the “prize” of the event and you will try to obtain it. Your job is to change this frame and you will become the prize that anybody would be lined to work with you.

People are likely to desire things they cannot achieve, so prizing yourself would make the audience want your approval, not vice versa. BMW, with the exclusive car M3, accomplishes this. The firm requests probable customers to sign an agreement that wants them to look for the car very well, or cannot purchase it.

During pitching, do not act as if you are running after the audience, for instance, do not agree to last-minute program changes or turn over the deal early with the statement: “So, what do you think so far?”. These actions will just strengthen the thoughts of the audience that they are the prize. Rather, you should make them try to be eligible for you by telling: “While selecting people to work with, I am very specific. Why do I have to work with you?”. This would catch them unprepared and they will start looking for your approval.

Chapter 5 – Pile up the frames to create “hot cognitions”.

In contrast to what most people think, we are more inclined to decide according to our instincts rather than our reasoning. In truth, we frequently make decisions without understanding every aspect, and only afterward we find the rationale of these decisions. These intuitions are “hot cognitions”, and the decisions made by reason are “cold cognitions”.

Once you explained your great idea in your pitch, you would like to precipitate hot cognitions in the audience. Thus, the audience cannot think thoroughly and rationally about your offer and make a cold decision, rather they will want your offer in seconds. You precipitate hot cognitions by piling up frames, in other words, step by step you bring up lots of frames.

Firstly, tell your audience a captivating tale, an individual anecdote that a problem is solved, so bring up the intrigue frame. Then, at the critical point of the narrative, stop it, so that all the attention of the audience would be on you.

Secondly, you stack the prize frame on top; turn the frame of the audience upside down, and rather than acting as if you need them, make them try to get your approval. A statement like this would do the trick: “This idea attracts lots of investors, I need to decide with whom to work with.”.

Afterward, put the time frame on top by expressing a command of time during your pitch: “Sadly, this is an exclusive offer for a short time, and it will be available only until this Monday.”. The audience will think that they are missing a chance, and they will desire it more.

By bringing on all these hot cognitions in the audience, the audience will truly want what you are presenting.

Chapter 6 – Never act as you need the audience – make them run after you.

When you act as you need the audience’s approval, this shows weakness and this can kill your pitch. If you show them you need their approval, they perceive you as weak and their primitive reptilian components will think of your pitch as a threat to their cash. This can easily turn into a loop that as the listeners run away from you because you need them, you start to feel stressed and need the audience more.

To deny the need of others, a three-stage formula from The Tao of Steve movie in which the main character Dex was using for picking up women can be used.

In the first stage, get rid of your wants, at least in a way the target will assume like that. If the target thinks that you want something from them, they will think you are needy. To deny this, show them brightly that you do not need the target.

In the second step, take whatever you do great, your strengths as a focal point. Show things that display your perfection. For example, Dex was making certain that his targets see his good relationship with kids. Likewise, you have to show perfection before the eyes of the target.

In the third step, step back. At the significant time that the target thinks you pursue them for their cash, step back and say that you are not suitable for each other. They will start to run after you, similar to the women in the Tao of Steve running after Dex.

Chapter 7 – Achieve situational alpha status to make your pitch effective.

Status is crucial in social relationships. In any gathering, an overpowering member named “alpha” exists, and the others are placed in the inferior beta status. It is challenging to persuade people when you are in beta status, so you need the alpha status.

Your fame or opulence may be some status symbols that you cannot change, but situational status can be changed seriously; for instance, although an accomplished surgeon would be of higher status than a golf trainer, the trainer has the alpha status while teaching golf.

Frequently, the betas will try to push you to be a situational beta with the traps called beta-traps such as leaving you to wait in the lobby.

You have to disregard these and prevent yourself from strengthening the object’s alpha status. Rather, defy and deny to get the alpha status for the situation as early as you can.

Think of a case that a potential buyer made you wait for them in the waiting room. When you entered the meeting room, you can read the material of the table and when the customer looks at them, you can tell: “No, not until I am available.”. If you can do it in a good kind of humor, this will strengthen your alpha status.

When you have the alpha position, you should drive the talk to a place that you know very well, such as a golf trainer tell about golf, not medicine, when teaching to a doctor. To toughen your position, push your object to tell something that strengthens your alpha status with a kind joke: “Make me remember why I would work with you on this business?”.

Chapter 8 – Your pitch is better when it is brief and simple.

At the beginning of your pitch, inform your audience that the pitch will be concise. This will relax them. For Nobel Prize winners Watson and Crick pitched their idea of DNA helix, just five minutes was required. You can pitch everything in a short amount of time when you are knowledgeable.

Introduce yourself at the beginning of your pitch. But do not clatter your whole CV, highlight your big achievements such as the times you made fascinating jobs.

Lots of people would be inclined to go immediately to the “big idea” that they want money for. However, initially, you need to answer questions in the audience’s mind. In other words, you need to tell why they should give you money right now.

Instead of a lengthy and complicated examination, just mention the monetary, social, and technical aspects that will convince the audience not to lose the opportunity of your deal currently. Monetary aspects that will be useful for your pitch can be things like the target market’s increasing affluence, or decreasing interest rates; the social aspects can be the increase in fear about sustainability and the technical aspects can be the invention of electric cars. You have to show these aspects in a way that highlights opportunities that will be available for a short amount of time.

These three aspects prepare the stage and draw a background for the big idea that also needs to be explained shortly and easily. The “recipe” to do this is:

“For [target customers] who do not like [current offerings on the market]. My product is a [new idea] that ensures [solution to the key problem] contrary to [competing product]. My product has [key product features].”

That is all. Then, you can talk about any details and features.

Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal by Oren Klaff Book Review

It is crucial in every social relationship in which you want to persuade others that you obtain the command of it and make certain that the audience perceives your pitch from the frame you selected. Meanwhile, you have to tailor your pitch for the audience’s correct cognition at the neurological level so that their minds do not process against you and understand you positively.

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Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/106467014-sava-ate

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