James Bond movies always start with an action-packed mini-adventure before they even cut to the famous theme song and movie title. Indiana Jones movies were modeled after the Bond formula and also immediately start with a fedora’d Harrison Ford grabbing treasure and escaping from bad guys. These movies literally cut to the chase-scene before the movie even begins. Apply this idea to all of your business communications.
Speech Tip: Good presenters start by thanking the sponsors, the host, the audience etc., but GREAT speakers go immediately to a hook of some kind and they give thanks and acknowledgements at the end of the speech.
- “We called it fire month. It was 138 degrees in Baghdad in August of 2003…” –Congressman Patrick Murphy beginning his speech at the DNC
Pitch Tip: Immediately dive into the solution you propose for your client, or a case study if you have one that is similar to their situation. They’ll be more interested in hearing about your company after you hook them with the product/service.
- “Jane is a J&J; sales representative who lives in St. Louis. She is sorting through the day’s mail when she notices a large golden envelope. Intrigued, she tears it open to find a package of microwave popcorn and an oversize movie ticket inviting her to a Hollywood premier. The premier of course, to the launch of your new product…” — Account Executive beginning her pitch for a movie-theme for a national sales meeting
Proposal or Report Tip: Never put the information about your company at the front of your proposal. Put it last in an Appendix. You should start with a one-page executive summary that cuts right to your unique solution and the value proposition you present. Grab them with your first sentence. If they are interested, they’ll find out more about you at the end of the document.
- “Mother died today. Or was it yesterday?” — First two sentences in Albert Camus’ book, The Stranger
Think of your business communication — whatever the form — as if it were a book or movie. Grab your audience’s attention in the first minute and then develop the characters and story line.
So what’s the “chase scene” for your next pitch? (oh, by the way, your client is always the hero in the story right?)
Kevin Kruse is a NY Times bestselling author and keynote speaker. Get more success and tips from his newsletter at kevinkruse.com and check out keynote video clips. His new book, Employee Engagement 2.0, teaches managers how to turn apathetic groups into emotionally committed teams.