How to be pitch perfect

March 14, 2022

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You’re naked in a meeting room in front of a dozen strangers. All you have to preserve your modesty is a PowerPoint. And there’s a vital slide missing from your presentation deck.

Or maybe everyone in the room has to stay two metres apart from each other. You’re trying to make yourself heard through a facemask. And Covid-19 precautions mean you haven’t even been offered a cup of coffee.

One of those is a nightmare you’ll wake up from. The other could be the scenario for in-person pitches for a long time to come. Hardly the best environment for showcasing the brilliant work your team have spent the last couple of months putting together.

But perhaps the pandemic and the likely business downturn have one small upside. Perhaps they’ll help inspire a revolution in pitching which will save you sleepless nights, and save money for your business, enhance your team’s creativity, and optimise your pitch win-rate.

Complaining about the cost of pitching – in terms of cash, resources and peace of mind – is a favourite topic for account teams and creatives. Now the future business landscape is even harder to see, the discussion is likely to move from the pub to the boardroom. What business would want to risk its depleting finances on a speculative pitch, when the potential rewards may never materialise? How can a short meeting to show the results of weeks of work be the best foundation for building a lasting client relationship?

Bring all these doubts and considerations together, and you have the perfect proving ground for a new way to pitch.

Firstly, forget the facemasks and the roomful of strangers. No-one is going to endure that if they don’t have to. And no work, however creative or powerful, is going to have a fair chance of being appreciated when a single cough could destroy the mood. Which means the virtual presentation is the way of the future.

Time for a rethink?

But why not go even further? Why not rethink the pitch process altogether?

Instead of a brief briefing meeting, followed by little contact between the parties involved, then an intense song-and-dance act in front of an audience of virtual (in the original sense) strangers, why not build a partnership from the start?

A platform like gruup, for example, enables you to easily share thoughts on the brief. To suggest different approaches to the challenges faced. To answer questions with questions, which might help all concerned find more definitive, more useful answers.

True collaboration

In other words, instead of being merely competitive, with gruup you can be collaborative.

Share ideas certainly; but share early stage concepts too. Be receptive to input that goes beyond basic approval or rejection. Create a virtuous virtual circle where work created in partnership becomes ever-stronger as a result.

And do it all on a platform where ideas in any format can be shared. Where moodboards can combine still images and video. Where engagement can be monitored in real-time. Where work can be presented as powerful, immersive output that looks equally good on any device – and that makes PowerPoint look as outdated as cave painting.

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