You'll ace your pitch after reading this. 🏆 Love the work. Connect everything with a clear objective. The value of sincerity.
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Hello there:

Every message you send is a pitch.

At a minimum, it's a plea for someone's attention. Your message is an invitation, the person receiving it can choose whether to engage.

That depends first on who's sending it. If your boos sent an email, you'll probably open it. A message from your significant other would likely get your attention. But what about a company you've never heard of telling you about a product you'll never need?

That depends on the headline.

Carnegie Mellon found that people were likely to “read emails that directly affected their work” when the subject line indicated something useful was in the message, or elicited curiosity.

I've used this method for LinkedIn invitations. Because there's isn't much space to write a long intro, I treat the custom message as a headline with subhead. I customize the body copy of invitations to connect to either be usefulexplaining specifically whyor elicit curiosityfor example, “why is a shoe company a startup?” Hmmm, interesting.

I have a 99.9 percent success rate. Plus, often the body of an invitation opens the door to a potential conversation, and a real connection down the line.

Talking about lines...

It was the 20th anniversary of The Line, La Linea,
the genius work of Osvaldo Cavandoli.
In 1969, La Linea debuted as part of Carosello,
a program that will deeply mark
the history of Italian television and animation.

From 1957 to 1977 at exactly 8:50pm,
Carosello entered every home.
Children and adults loved the unique format
not found in any other country in the world—
both in terms of success and typology.

Carosello collected a series of commercials
structured as real shows with specific rules:

1. Pure entertainment the first 1.45 minutes,
(no product reference)
2. the actual advert in the last 30 seconds
  (the codino, pigtail).

In the short above, Cavandoli tells his creation:
"... when there is no longer this hand, you will continue to live ..."
 love for the work,
for what he created,
is all in those words.

More about Cava's work here (Italian) and here (Italian, English).


Persuasion is the art of giving someone enough information so they can make up their own mind, and decide based upon what they want to do and the job that needs to get done.

At the end of 2012, Newsweek stopped print publication and transitioned to all-digital. It was a widely distributed newsweekly through the 20th century, with many notable editors-in-chief over the years. I was the agency strategist who came up with a pitch to test a more sustainable digital model that combined advertising, subscriptions and word of mouth.

It was a work of love, partnering with creative to show not tell how it would work. The pitch was at their New York City offices. We won the work. Then the magazine was sold. Nothing came of it. But I still remember how it felt: thinking we could help transform a storied publication dating back to 1933.

In constructing my presentation I focused on the problem, showing the digital experience we were proposing to test and help people self-select based on a simple flow, using a simple line to ask for the business and advocate on its behalf. I was very excited about the work. It was a big idea.

The bigger question I asked at the time: are we in a moment when significant change is possible?
[more about change in the article at the bottom]

The Pitch:

A great pitch connects everything with the clear business objectives in the client's brief. It also demonstrates the love for the craft. The best work has no jargon, no frills, just layer upon layer of rationale and emotional insights delivered with wit, humility and effortless charm.

But you many not be soft spoken like Abbott; the rationale and emotion may warrant a more energetic approach, or a gentler one, or one filled with love and restraint.
  • Academy Award winning role, Lt. Col. Frank Slade makes a compelling, no frills speech to help his "charge" Mr. Charlie Simms stay at the Baird School. I'm talking about the mesmerizing Al Pacino's scene in Scent of a Woman. (pardon the language)
  • After one too many run-ins with the law, Will’s last chance is a psychology professor, Sean Macguire, who might be the only man who can reach him. Finally forced to deal with his past, Will discovers that the only one holding him back is himself. A gentle, persuasive Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting.
  • Sister Aloysius, played without a hint of humor by Meryl Streep, is not a caricature. The power struggle with modernity is real. At the center of the story is a dialogue between Sister Aloysius and Mrs. Miller. In seven minutes, Viola Davis delivers the emotional heart and soul of Doubt.
Writing and saying less is not always the answer to win a pitch. I write articles that are sometimes more than 2,000 words, and yet thousands of people read them.

Viola Davis' Mrs. Miller has "a near-miraculous level of believability ... Davis, in her small, one-scene role, is incredibly moving ... [she] plays her character, an anxious, hardworking woman who's just trying to hold her life and family together, by holding everything close. She's not a fountain of emotion, dispensing broad expression or movement; instead, she keeps it all inside and lets us in." [Mike Madden, Salon ]

She towers over an amazing Meryl Streep—with just the one scene.

“Nothing is more complicated
than sincerity."

- Luigi Pirandello,
dramatist, novelist, poet, short story writer.
1934 Nobel Prize in Literature
for "his almost magical power to turn
psychological analysis into good theater."

If we cannot measure change, can we do transformation?
Are we living at a moment when significant change is possible?

To argue better, try this reading list
The power of habit

I ground all my sites here.
If you're a creator and are planning to ground your digital presence using WordPress, check SiteGround out.

Graduate to fast, affordable WordPress hosting.

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Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.
Conversation Agent LLC / @ConversationAge
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