Pitch Anything (2011) introduces a unique, new method for pitching ideas. Through psychology, neuroscience and personal anecdotes, Klaff explains the tactics and techniques needed to successfully pitch anything to anyone.
Everyone should learn to pitch ideas well. In every profession, from dentistry to investment banking, there comes a time when you must convince someone of something. Unfortunately, there is a gap between what we are trying to tell our audience and how they perceive it. To understand this gap and overcome it, we must look at the evolution of the human brain.
Basically, the human brain has evolved in three separate stages, resulting in three distinct parts: the primitive reptilian part, the croc brain, developed first. It’s a simple device primarily focused on survival and it can generate strong emotions, like the desire to flee a predator. Next, the midbrain developed. It allows us to understand more complex situations, such as social interactions. Finally, the sophisticated neocortex evolved, facilitating reasoning and analysis to understand complex things.
When you pitch, you use your neocortex to put into words the ideas you are trying to convey. Unfortunately, your audience doesn’t at first process these ideas with their neocortices. Instead, it is the audience’s primitive croc brains that receive the ideas and they ignore everything that is not new and exciting. Worse still, if your message seems abstract and unfathomable to the croc brain, it might perceive the message as a threat. This will make your audience want to flee to escape the situation.
This is why you must tailor your pitch to the croc brain. Since croc brains are simple, your message should be clear, concrete and focused on the big picture. You also need to ensure the croc brain sees your message as something positive and novel, which deserves to be passed on to the higher brain structures.