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Perfect Pitch: The Art of Selling Ideas and Winning New Business Hardcover – Oct 30 2006

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (Oct. 30 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471789763
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471789765
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.1 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 481 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #120,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Back in the mid-1990s, when I was with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, our co-founder Jeff Goodby rose one day in our conference room and started a new business presentation with a story. Read the first page
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard Poulin on July 31 2008
Format: Hardcover
A very good all-around book for your sales pitches, it covers everything with examples from the world of publicity (agencies trying to get hired by huge companies to do their ads). The author's style is fun and engaging, and he has worked on lots of sales presentations - he's not talking from a university classroom. He covers common mistakes (especially with Powerpoint), how to plan a pitch, how much work is involved (a lot!), etc.

The most important thing I have gotten out of this book: an understanding of the power of stories. If you try to make a point and can find a story that precisely makes THAT point, the impact is incredible. Stories are not technically charged, and people usually enjoy listening, often lowering their guard, since they don't feel the presenter is trying to sell them something.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 24 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
The lost art of presentations Nov. 3 2006
By Gareth Kay - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have to disagree with the previous review. Perfect Pitch is a powerful call to arms to the lost art of presentation writing and, more importantly, making compelling arguments. It made me realize some bad habits I've fallen into which need correcting and the need to take back control from technology.

I think the most powerful point in the book is the need to build the two minute argument for any presentation before you fire up PowerPoint.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Re-discovering the art of engaging storytelling Dec 18 2006
By Amelia Torode - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Jon Steel is a rare breed of truly smart, creative thinkers. Though originally from an advertising background, The Perfect Pitch is by no means simply an "advertising book." It is a book about ideas and how to sell them, regardless of your business.

Jon believes that in business we all too often hide behind boring Powerpoint slides as it is easier to simply read from a slide than it is to step out and actually engage with your audience. He believes in finding an active insight from which to base the strategy and thinking and from there, developing an engaging and motivating story.

Essentially in a pitch situation you have a limited period of time to connect with your audience and involve them in the story you are telling. It's not about animated slides or embedded video links.

William Goldman, the scriptwriter, has a very similar premise in Adventures In the Screen Trade. He too talks about the critical importance of the pitch (in his case, pitches for movies) Goldman highlights the importance of finding the hook that captivates and motivates your audience.

Having had the pleasure of working with Jon, in fact on one of the pitches that he references in the book, it is fair to say that he practises what he preaches. The advice he gives is refreshingly free from jargon and rooted in simple common-sense that sometimes we can forget.

This book is an essential tool for anyone who is ever in pitch situations with their clients.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
More than an anti-powerpoint rant Nov. 11 2006
By Phome - Published on
Format: Hardcover
It would be easy to dismiss (or embrace) Jon Steel's book as a tirade against powerpoint. To say that at worst it's nothing more than a tirade against the poor use of a presentation tool (actual clip art died around the same time as the Queen Mother didn't it?) and that at best that it's an intelligent attack on a tool that has changed the way that we think. Both arguments miss the point. Yes turning Winston Churchill's best speech into PowerPoint is the highlight of this book but it's one point amongst many.

What this book seems to me to be about is creating the space, time and atmosphere needed to think. Whether that means taking a sledgehammer to your blackberry or your officemates to a baseball game the message remains the same - you win business when you have better ideas than other people; and you have better ideas than other people when you allow your subconscious to do some of the work.

Yes the book occasionally meandors, but then so do the best brains. Yes it draws on personal experience, yes it works its way through some seemingly unconnected thoughts, returning to connect only some of them - but then isn't that the central argument in the book. It's the curious mind that wins the day.

So whilst this isn't a bullet pointed, Donald Trump-esque WIN. AT. ALL. COSTS. BY. DOING. IT. THE. BILLIONAIRE. WAY. ! ! ! ! kind of book it is a kinder, gentler, more human, more nuanced and ultimately more insightful peek behind the curtain of big business and what it takes to get the people with the big bucks to buy your ideas.

Perfect Pitch may not be the book that thrusting young American execs may think that they need, it won't be on the shelves of any of the 'contenders' on The Apprentice - which is why so many of their ideas will be as predictable as their hairstyles.

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Creative Thinkerer Sept. 7 2007
By Charles E. Elberson - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's a hard book to pigeonhole, as you can tell from the other reviews. It's quite applicable to people in agency life, but it's by no means an ad-person's book. If your life involves coming up with creative ideas and convincing other people to buy into them, it's very worth your time. Yeah, there are some tangents, most are diversions to make a point. Every 10-15 pages I tagged things I want to return to later to put to use. Lots of good thought-starters about what to do (and perhaps more importantly what to leave out) to get people excited about your ideas.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I'm in love with Perfect Pitch Dec 1 2007
By Stephen Newdell - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Jon Steel is a fine writer and a brilliant salesman. If you read this and make notations carefully you will realize in it how to be a better ad writer, a better sales-person, and a better speaker, lecturer, or teacher. You'll also hear from a thinking man, "Wake up and use the brains God gave you!" Thank you and thank you again Jon Steel for a wonderful book. I would be honored to work with you. Everyone in the ad, sales, and promotion business should buy this book, and make an hour of leisure time every day for a while to read it, think through it, and make margin notes. The secrets of changing your own work (and income) from mediocrity to excellence are hidden here.

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