When Moses the screenwriter hiked up Runyon Canyon he received a screenplay with ten commandments inside….
The Ten Commandments Of Pitching
Here are ten commandments for pitching success (pls read in big, booming voice):
1. Thou shalt prepare for the five stages of the meeting.
If you do not know what the five stages are, you will acquaint yourself here.
2. Thou shalt not talk about who has been attached, was considering, or has been interested in the project.
This is equivalent to saying, “Here is a list of people who have already passed.”
3. Thou shalt not “get down to business.”
You will take the time to make small-talk and get to know the decision-maker first.
4. Thou shalt not “wing” your pitch.
You will consider preparation techniques such as writing your pitch out by hand, pitching on video and then watching your performance, and taking a practice meeting with a friend.
5. Thou shalt lead with genre.
Specifically, the first few words of your pitch will be something like, “My story is a (GENRE)….”
6. Thou shalt refer to a maximum of three characters by name.
If other characters need to be mentioned, do so by how they relate to the main characters, e.g., Karin’s best friend, Ryan’s evil twin.
7. Thou shalt write down the names of the decision-makers you meet.
Don’t suffer the fate of, “I had a great meeting, but I can’t remember his or her name….”
8. Thou shalt prepare for likely questions.
Use your Answerbank to prepare answers for the most common questions in advance.
9. Thou shalt not argue the point.
If you get a note you don’t like from a decision-maker in an initial meeting, don’t argue. Instead, just say, “Thanks, let me think about that.”
10. Thou shalt adapt to patterns of feedback.
You will consider all of the notes you are receiving, look for patterns, and discover ways to improve your pitch, your project, or both.
Any other commandments that should be added to this list?