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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Statement - not a question

Here is a quick technique I've been using recently in meetings and pitch sessions. Its about the first thing you say. What is the first thing you say when you meet somebody?

Is it a question: Can I sit here? How's things? Did you get here okay? Did you find us?

Or is it a statement: Hey, it looks busy in here. It was great to see your name on the TV last week. Thanks for sending me through that script.

The statement is much more powerful as it creates an instant energy and up beat feeling. What a great way to kick off a meeting. Exactly what that statement will of course changes every time. But when people look foward to meeting with you because they know it'll be positive and full of goodwill you'll know it is working.

3 comments:

Danny Stack said...

Nice one.

I also find it useful to ease into an anecdote as soon as I arrive at a meeting as this creates a sense of easy energy and communication, especially if the story's funny in some way (hopefully)... I've seen pleasantly surprised reactions on people's faces but I think it also reminds them, 'hey, this is why this guy is a writer'.

Suki Singh said...

Imagine the fact that some of these producers have been listening to ideas all day, once you've done your hello, looking them in the eye and smiled. What next? A technique I learned at the screenwriting Expo is to ask them a question so it puts all other pitches out of their head. This question must be related to your pitch or it could be an interesting fact, but related to your pitch. For example you could ask, have you heard of Punjab in India? The person says 'yeah sure'. You ask them what the word Punjab means or tell them 'Punjab means the land of the five rivers'. Then you can go into your five minute pitch. Making them focus on you, an interesting fact, a unique angle. When they pitch back to someone else coz they like it, they will do the same, to make themselves look clever. If you start with, this is a film about Jason who is on the dole and down on his luck, well, it's a long five minutes to fill. Peace.

Tim Clague said...

Thats a good tip from Mr S.

And a good idea to try also.

My idea was from BEFORE you pitch. But maybe you should 'hit the ground running'.