Book Summary: Pitch Anything

The problems we encounter between two sections of our brain: the amygdala, often known as the crocodile or lizard brain, and the neocortex, our youthful thinking brain, have been discussed in previous summaries.

A picture of a brain signifying the different part of our brains used in pitching.

The croc brain is utilized to make split-second judgments, such as fighting, fleeing, or mating. Then we send the information to the neocortex for further analysis.

Oren Klaff claims that this brain-on-brain clash is the major reason our pitches fail in his book, which is based on 10,000 hours of development experience.

He thinks there is a fundamental gap between pitching something and how our audience reacts to it. Consequently, nine times out of ten, when it's most vital to persuade, we couldn't.

Our presentations are based on facts, which we assume will be digested by the neocortex. Still, they are really processed by the crocodile brain.

No pitch or message will get to the reasoning center of the other person's brain without first passing via the crocodile brain system's survival filters. And, as a result of our evolution, those filters make it incredibly difficult to pitch anything.

To address these obstacles, Klaff developed a system called STRONG:

  • S – Setting the Frame
  • T – Telling the Story
  • R – Revealing the Intrigue
  • O – Offering the Prize
  • N - Nailing the Hook Point
  • G – Getting a decision

Let's consider three key elements behind STRONG that make it successful.

Key Factor 1: Frame Control

A male strategist thinking of a strategy that they want to pursue for the pitch.

Every pitch - any encounter where you want a good outcome in your favor, according to Klaff - should be encased in a frame.

During the pitch, a frame is a perspective or strategy you want to pursue.

Frames are used by everyone, whether they are aware of it or not. Every social engagement brings together a variety of frameworks.

Frames do not coexist at the same time and place for very long, as Klaff points out. They collide, and one of them takes control of the situation. Social interaction is governed by the winning frame. It is supposed to be able to alter the frame rate.

Frame collisions are the most basic of all crashes. To make judgments and choose actions, they freeze the neocortex and bring in the crocodile brain.

These are the basic sorts of conflicting frames that you may find in most business situations:

  • Frames with a lot of power and frames with a lot of power bursting
  • The Time Constraint Frame and the Time Frame
  • The Intrigue Frame and the Analyst Frame
  • The Prize Frame, designed by Klaff, is an all-purpose counter.

The Power Frame Clash

The power frame is the most prevalent opposition frame you'll come across in a commercial context.

The power frame is derived from a person with a large ego. His authority stems from his standing, which is gained because people regard and respect him. They are also the most vulnerable to a power-busting frame since they are unaware of its existence. They anticipate your adoration and submission.

Klaff suggests that we produce a power frame collision by doing something moderately surprising but not hostile. For example, if you've given someone supporting information and they read it before you've finished your pitch, take it away from them and say, "Not now."

It will come as a surprise to them, but the power swings to you for that short period. Remember to do it softly and with a grin on your face, or you could find yourself being shown the door sooner than you'd want! Not sure if this method will work for you? Then the prize frame might come in handy.

The Prize Frame

Another classic example of indirect power is when a key decision-maker fails to show up for a meeting as scheduled. So, what exactly do you do? Put an end to everything. Reframe. Take control of the situation right away.

Klaff's prize frame reaction is found below:

"I have some other appointments, and the time remaining will not be adequate," you say when he says he'll be there in 20 minutes. I can wait 15 minutes, but then I have to leave." That should do to convey the point.

Then something spectacular will occur. The others in the room will scurry, doing their hardest to avoid offending you and preventing you from leaving. They are concerned about your safety. Others react to you when you own the frame.

And if he doesn't come up at that time, you're free to go. You don't show up for your presentation, leave no brochures, and don't apologize. You don't even have to say it; your time has been wasted. They are aware of the situation.

Tell the most powerful person in the room that you're willing to reschedule, but only on your terms. They must come to you for the next meeting. It tells your audience that if they want more information from you, they must first do something to earn it.

The Time Frame Clash

When you see attention waning, you know a time-frame collision is likely to happen.

If you wait for someone in the audience to remark, "We just have a few minutes left, so let's wrap this up," according to Klaff, you will lose the frame because you will be forced to react to that person. Instead, keep track of time and begin finishing things up.

Ironically, most people make the error of talking faster when they notice their audience is growing tired to get through the rest of the presentation. They only succeed in helping the audience recall less of their content rather than transmitting more essential information faster.

Time can be constrained in whatever way you like - it's your pitch, so you can halt it whenever you want. It's much better to leave your audience wanting more - successfully conjuring a version of the reward frame - than to bore them.

The Analyst Frame

You've lost control, according to Klaff, when your audience "deep drills down" into the minute details. So, what should you do if someone presses you for information? At all times, keep the focus on the business relationship. After that comes the analysis.

Similarly, as your pitch progresses, some or all of your audience will see the answer, understand the concept, and leave. What actually occurred is that they learned enough about our idea to feel certain that they understood it. There is no use in continuing to listen.

According to Klaff, the most efficient technique to defeat this analyst frame is to use an intriguing frame.

This tale is connected to it. The story must be concise and pertinent. There must be a sense of danger and a sense of urgency. It must create suspense, but more importantly, it must bring the viewer almost to the edge of resolution.

Your audience will have refocused on you by then, and you may resume your pitch.

Key Factor 2: Status

A leader riding on top of the king chess. Similar to pitching, if you don't have a high status, you won't get the attention for your message to be heard.

According to Klaff, your ability to create the dominant frame and retain the authority you get when you win the frame collision is dependent on how others see you. If you don't have high status, you won't get the attention you need to have your message heard. You will not persuade, and getting a transaction done will be difficult.

Even when he isn't demanding it, the alpha receives most of the attention in a social engagement, just as he does in the animal kingdom.

However, because their position as top dogs is constantly threatened, alphas defend themselves by expressing their control over their subordinates and coworkers. Beta-traps are what is set in business.

A beta trap is a subtle but efficient social ritual that places you in a low-status position. It seeks to keep you there for the length of the social engagement, underneath the decision-maker you've come to see.

Let's pay a visit to a potential client. The lobby is the first beta trap you'll come across. Isn't this a place designed to welcome visitors? In reality, the entrance demotes you from the minute you walk in and keeps you degraded for the duration of your visit.

The meeting room is another classic beta trap. If it's vacant when you arrive, you'll normally be left alone for a few minutes to cool your heels while waiting for your targets. When they come, the atmosphere is usually lighthearted.

They're overjoyed because they've been able to take a break from their everyday routine to come into a nicer, larger area to see today's entertainment, which is you.

How can we avoid beta-traps and express our dominance?

Be unaffected by your customer's standing both within and outside the corporate environment, according to Klaff. Look for ways to bolster your physique and improve your standing.

Move the conversation quickly to an area where you are the domain expert. Your expertise and insights are indisputable to your audience.

By framing yourself as the incentive for doing business with you, you may use a prize frame. Confirm your alpha status by having your customer, who is now in a beta role, make a comment that acknowledges your superior rank.

Key Factor 3: Eradicating Neediness

A male with his laptop showing his investor signs of neediness in his pitch.

According to Klaff's experience, showing signals of neediness is about the worst thing you can do to your presentation. It's a disaster for frame control. It lowers one's social standing.

Neediness is a warning indication that something is wrong. When you show signs of neediness, the crocodile brain perceives you as a threat it wishes to avoid. Avoidance is the outcome of neediness. Neediness, shown through so-called validation-seeking behaviors, has a profound impact on all social relationships.

Going into every social engagement with a solid time frame that you are ready to employ at any time is one of the most effective ways to eliminate neediness. This frame expresses loudly and plainly that you are required elsewhere.

A second option is to want nothing at all. Concentrate solely on what you excel at. When things don't go your way, you'll look less frantic if you adopt the attitude that you don't need the deal. Klaff claims that the major hurdle to using his methods is neediness. By removing neediness, you may go ahead to success.

Here Is Klaff's Step-By-Step Process to Moving Forward.

A female planning the step by step process in making a successful pitch, by drawing the steps needed.

Step 1: Understand what beta traps are and how to avoid them. This is a low-risk method of teaching your mind to think in a frame-based manner. Look for beta traps while you go about your daily routine. Identify everything that tries to regulate your behavior and consider how you could get past it.

Step 2: Begin walking around beta traps gradually. Of course, it will seem strange at first, but it will drive you forward to the point when it feels natural and unnoticeable.

Step 3: Recognize and categorize social frameworks. Take note of the frames that are being thrown at you on all levels of your life. Power frames, time frames, and analyst frames may be found all over the place.

Step 4: Begin initiating frame collisions with safe targets that do not represent a significant risk to your career. Keep in mind that a sense of humor and a gentle touch is essential. Without it, you'll come out as nasty and arrogant. Instead of engaging your target in a pleasant and energetic social encounter, you'll provoke croc brain defense reactions.

Step 5: The little actions of disobedience and denial you employ to wrest control of a social frame generate conflict and tension. This is exactly the purpose. Delivering these behaviors with a gentle touch reassures the target's croc brain that everything is fine and that no immediate threat exists.

Step 6: You can't force frame control. Fortunately, if you find yourself pushing the procedure, this is a simple problem to solve. Just loosen up a little. With a glint in your eye and a grin in your heart, say anything that produces a frame collision. Your target will sense your good intentions and good humor and will respond positively.

Step 7: Take the leap of faith. At a pitch, give it a shot. An opportunity is being presented. A review of your salary performance. A meeting with a potential business partner. Anywhere you want to make strides in the right direction. Frame control isn't used by everyone. Your accomplishments will astound you.

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