One day you’ll be in a pitch meeting. This will most likely be one of the most stressful and intimidating moments of your life, but it’ll be worth it. Like everything, the more pitch meetings you do the easier they’ll become. You’ll get your own style and flow and you’ll be able to deal with every question and problem that comes at you. But until then, here are 20 common mistakes made during pitch meetings. If you’re looking for funding for your film, you should check out our previous article!
1. Using Slang Words
Slang words are tied to a specific generation. While you may know what they mean, even if they’re not from your time, that doesn’t mean everyone in the room will. If your audience doesn’t understand what you’re saying, you’re not going to have a successful pitch. Be sure to choose your words wisely for the maximum impact amongst those listening. If someone needs to ask what a word means, that breaks flow and makes that person feel stupid.
2. Apologizing at the Start
Saying things like “Sorry this is my first pitch so it might not be good” or “My apologies if this is not what you’re looking for” before you begin starts you off on the wrong foot. It makes you seem unprofessional, inexperienced, and reflects negatively upon you in general. They have no idea how many pitch meetings you’ve done or how many offers you have, make it seem like a lot.
3. Being Impatient
You’re here to win the people in the room over, don’t make it seem like your in a rush. If they think you don’t want to be there they’re not going to want you there either.
4. Overloading Information
Too much information can be as bad as providing too little. You don’t want to muddle your pitch with pointless details. Stick the the most exciting or unique aspects. You might just end up focusing on the wrong part of your pitch for too long, and given you won’t have much time to begin with, this will be a missed opportunity.
5. Not Giving it Your All
Don’t go in to your pitch meetings half cocked. Go into them at full force. Show them that you’ve done your research and you know that your pitch is a winner. If you show how passionate and inspired you are that will reflect wonders onto your crowd.
6. Seeming Desperate
Don’t beg for them to take your pitch. No one likes to see a desperate person.
7. Being Too Complimentary
While giving some compliments can help, if you brown nose too much it’ll turn into something negative. It’ll make it seem that what you’re pitching isn’t good enough and you’re finding other ways to fill your allotted time. They’ve seen it all before.
8. Being Anxious
Being anxious and fiddling can be a huge distraction. Plus, it’ll make you seem unconfident about your pitch, and if you’re not confident in it, why should they be?
9. Going Too Quick
It’s not a race to the finish line. Give yourself a chance to breathe and give your audience a chance to digest the information you’re giving them. If they don’t have time to think, then they don’t have time to believe in your movie.
10. Starting Before Everyone is Ready
The people who you’ll be talking to in your pitch meetings are very busy all the time. If half the room is still on the phone or coming back from a different meeting, don’t start without them. The only case where this would be appropriate is if you’re prompt to start your pitch.
11. Pushing Your Background
Just because you went to a certain university doesn’t mean you should get extra points. Don’t brag about your background to the people in the room. They’re there to hear your pitch not know who your school mascot was.
12. Taking the Wrong Chair
Don’t sit in the bosses chair. If you don’t know where to sit, simply ask!
It’s great to be passionate about your film but if someone has some negative feedback or a question, don’t fight them on it. Creating a scene such as a verbal argument will not help you or your pitch. Explain to them in a calm manner.
14. Being Informal
You’re dealing with a room full of professionals, you should act professional as well!
15. Sweating, Lots of Sweating
This can be a difficult thing to stop yourself from doing, but please try.
16. Not Speaking to Everyone in the Room
You never know who the people in the room with you might be. Even if they look young, still make sure you address them while doing your pitch.
17. Just Being Plain Weird
If you’re making the room feel uncomfortable, that’s not going to boad well for your pitch.
18. Talking Business Too Soon
Most businesses like to have some small talk before diving into your pitch. Adhere to this and don’t start telling them why you’re film is the best too soon.
19. Assuming They Know Who You Are
Introduce yourself. Don’t assume everyone in the room read the memo about you are your movie. It’s always best to assume that they don’t know anything about your or your pitch.
20. Being Inappropriate
Play it by the book. Don’t do anything that would be considered inappropriate. You might just get security called on you.
Do You Have Any Success Stories From Pitch Meetings?
Share them! It’s always great to hear about success stories and it provides encouragement for others to follow suit.