Did you know that in baseball, pitchers only get 12 seconds between getting the ball and pitching it? That may seem like a short time to some people, but to a well-trained pitcher, that’s all the time they need. Pitching our ideas is often challenging and when given the opportunity you may not be ready, you may not have the right words, you may even be too nervous to make the pitch.
So how do you effectively pitch your ideas?
Well for starters, you need to understand that the preparation is just as important, if not more important, than the delivery. So, let’s start there; understanding a few core concepts to utilize before we get to that elevator.
Authenticity & enthusiasm
What is the purpose of pitching an idea that does not motivate you?
Under the lens of spirituality, we know that fulfillment is attained when we pursue and achieve our unique purpose.
A great idea is one that takes you closer to your goals or contributes to society in a meaningful way. If you are going to pitch an idea that you have been sold or pressured into, the best way to pitch it is to not do it at all! Stay true to yourself and your values by pitching an idea that you are genuinely passionate about; this is the first key to connecting and conveying it to others.
Make a road map
Start preparing your pitch by having a road map, yes even a physical one if needed. Think out all the questions you might be asked and answer them. Be critical with yourself (and charitable) ironing out any of the wrinkles you may have. When you pitch your idea, you don’t want to find yourself with unstable footing especially when questions arise from genuine interest. Be ready, but keep the pitch simple, only using what is needed in each encounter.
Give, don’t ask
When you are giving a pitch, the purpose is not simply to ask for help or money. Instead, you are giving your idea to someone; letting them in on your dreams and sharing with them an opportunity. Remember that it’s more natural for someone to care about what you want for them, rather than from them. Take each chance you get to let the “catcher” know the ball is in their hands, no strings attached -the door is open to them.
Now that you have the right mindset, it’s time for boots on the ground.
No scripts, just a formula
It’s tempting to spend time each day in front of the mirror, practicing the “perfect” pitch, but there really is no such thing, in a sense. Each person you believe can be part of your vision is different, with different priorities, motives, desires, values, and interests. If you care about your ideas, you also care about each person’s unique role in your plan; this requires a unique approach each time. Keep in mind your fundamentals, your key points, and even your best lines, but DO NOT use the script; instead, follow your formula, recognizing how the conversation might suit each individual. To quote Dale Carnegie, “To be interesting, be interested.”
With these simple concepts, you can share your ambitions with anyone you meet in a meaningful way. Now, go out and change the world one heart at a time.
Jesse Sebastian Jones is a graduate of Tepeyac Leadership Initiative and the Coordinator of Youth & Young Adult Ministry at St. Patrick Catholic Church.
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