A number of people claim responsibility for creating the term Pitchcraft so I can’t source it exactly. It’s a term I’ve used myself for many years, thinking I was being very creative, although not in the context of baseball, which I find incomprehensible. This is on par with its equally mystifying UK counterpart cricket – but “bowlcraft” doesn’t have quite the same ring.
However, like any sport the aim is the same. To deliver a winning performance.
It is simply the art of delivering your message in the way that is most appropriate for the situation. This can range from a subtle message to a full on sales drive. It should be something we can deliver smoothly and succinctly to meet every occasion. Clearly you are not going to produce the same pitch on a hot date as you would in a networking event, unless of course you didn’t want a second date, in which case it would be a sure-fire tactic.
You would be surprised how many people fail to prepare to pitch in their careers. By doing so as Benjamin Franklin said, in reality they are preparing to fail. Opportunities come and go, many times when they are least expected. We know that if a lot of famous, successful people, many of whom are no longer with us, are oft quoted on any subject, then there will be truisms involved. And there are indeed lots of quotes on preparation and being prepared. But a high number of people are not prepared to pitch themselves, whether in a formal interview, in a meeting, with their clients, their boss or in a networking situation. Very often not only are they unprepared, they might even be reluctant to do so.
In the words of another late American President
The 3Ps of Pitchcraft are:
- Have you carried out a review of personal and career goals – are they aligned?
- Do you know your strengths and development needs?
- When was the last time you did an audit of your CV and online profile? Have you identified your hard and soft skills? Can you articulate your success stories?
- Do you have an up to date, ready to send CV?
- How fluent is your 30 second commercial?
- How is your non-verbal communication?
- What about responses to typical interview questions. Do you have any prepared? What about the old chestnut “Tell me about yourself” It is a trick question!
- How smooth is your delivery? Can you deliver your USP in any circumstances – a cocktail party, networking event or other business occasion. Or do you make even yourself cringe it sounds so awkward
- Have you ever recorded yourself either online or on your own answer machine? How do you sound?
And finally another truism on the subject