Presentations & Pitches

How do you create compelling narratives for professional audiences who think they've seen and heard it all? Whether it's a high-stakes C-Suite pitch, a multi-city training and marketing workshop or a (dreaded) PowerPoint, the challenge is not just capturing our audience's attention but holding it.

When we do pitches and presentations for clients, we never follow a formula.  How we approach our work depends as much on what the audience needs as it does on what the client needs.  Our only rule: don't give the audience what they expect.  Surprise them.  For example: a spy, a jock, a socialite, and a retail junkie. It sounds like casting for a screwball comedy, but it was actually the perfect, attention-getting lineup for an audience of automotive executives used to hearing from “automotive experts.” All we had to do was deliver what they weren't expecting: a group of non-automotive experts. Building on each speaker’s unique background, we delivered fresh insights on everything from situational awareness to selling to the female consumer, resulting in across-the-board high marks from a tough audience.  This is just one example of the memorable ways we've cast, crafted and presented some of our best pitches.

Insight: Build on the innate strengths of your presenters and cast them as if they were characters. This simultaneously accentuates their differences from your audience and builds relevancy between their unique expertise and the audience’s need.

The Team: A lot of what we've learned in this area has come from Richard DeLeonardis of TCG - a regular P.T. Barnum of corporate presentations - and Marty Stein of Motorola who taught me that even PowerPoints could be entertaining.

Images: Seth Klonsky presenting at Summer Search (photo: Mike Ritter); a teaser trailer created for a pitch (TCG), concept cards (Summer Search, photo by Mike Ritter), storyboards used in selling a video concept to Audi; and an audience-driven presentation.

How do you create compelling narratives for professional audiences who think they've seen and heard it all? Whether it's a high-stakes C-Suite pitch, a multi-city training and marketing workshop or a (dreaded) PowerPoint, the challenge is not just capturing our audience's attention but holding it.

When we do pitches and presentations for clients, we never follow a formula.  How we approach our work depends as much on what the audience needs as it does on what the client needs.  Our only rule: don't give the audience what they expect.  Surprise them.  For example: a spy, a jock, a socialite, and a retail junkie. It sounds like casting for a screwball comedy, but it was actually the perfect, attention-getting lineup for an audience of automotive executives used to hearing from “automotive experts.” All we had to do was deliver what they weren't expecting: a group of non-automotive experts. Building on each speaker’s unique background, we delivered fresh insights on everything from situational awareness to selling to the female consumer, resulting in across-the-board high marks from a tough audience.  This is just one example of the memorable ways we've cast, crafted and presented some of our best pitches.

Insight: Build on the innate strengths of your presenters and cast them as if they were characters. This simultaneously accentuates their differences from your audience and builds relevancy between their unique expertise and the audience’s need.

The Team: A lot of what we've learned in this area has come from Richard DeLeonardis of TCG - a regular P.T. Barnum of corporate presentations - and Marty Stein of Motorola who taught me that even PowerPoints could be entertaining.

Images: Seth Klonsky presenting at Summer Search (photo: Mike Ritter); a teaser trailer created for a pitch (TCG), concept cards (Summer Search, photo by Mike Ritter), storyboards used in selling a video concept to Audi; and an audience-driven presentation.

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"With  each  slide,  with  each  paragraph,  ask  yourself   'So  what?'   If  it  doesn't  grab you,  throw  it  out."

Marty Stein, Motorola