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The 7 P’s of Persuasive Pitching

Written by: Shelley Tilbrook, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


How to captivate, connect and convert your audience with the pitch-perfect fruitful formula.

Professional pitch presentations are used widely in business, yet very few of these skills are taught in schools and universities or implemented well at an executive or management level. There’s an expectation of on-the-job learning, but guess what – there are proven formulas and essential ingredients.

Even those not in sales, you will find yourself needing these skills in business. You may be pitching an idea to a boss, pitching to an investor for seed funding, pitching to a potential sponsor. The fruitful formula can apply to each of these scenarios.

It’s a topic that I’m passionate about, as I have seen good ideas stumble at the starting blocks and powerful strategies fail to gain support, as they are falling short in one or more critical success factors.

Over 20 years of developing sponsorship pitches, investor pitches, and funding sales decks, I have seen what works and began to appreciate the power of storytelling.

It was for this reason I developed the ‘pitch-perfect program,’ a fruitful formula designed to help employees, executives and entrepreneurs win over the room with a persuasive pitch.


The proven storytelling formula, with a design that delivers impact, will captivate your audience, stir emotion, and ultimately inspire action.

The benefits of executing a perfect pitch include the following:

  1. Develop a meaningful connection with your target audience;

  2. Motivate the desired behaviors without selling and move them to action;

  3. Captivate your audience through powerful stories;

  4. Communicate with clarity and confidence;

  5. Achieve emotional resonance with your audience;

  6. Attract the right people with shared values for sustainable partnerships;

  7. Ability to influence and persuade;

  8. Establish credibility, authority, and leadership;

  9. Maximize buying psychology and subconscious mental triggers; and

  10. Create memorable, meaningful compelling messages.

Many presentations and pitches we see are missing fruitful ingredients involving an equal measure of science and art. The science, being the formula and psychology, the art, being the design and delivery. Both improve with practice.

So what makes a great pitch?

Here are the 7 P’s of the Pitch Perfect Program that we have seen deliver the most fruitful results for our clients, and some of these might surprise you. The 7 P’s include:

1. Purpose;

2. Personable;

3. Priceless painkiller priorities;

4. Prosperous;

5. Persuasion;

6. Performance – Pitch & Promise; and

7. Pizazz.

So let’s explore these in more detail.

1. Purpose

People don't buy what you do. They buy why you do it.

What is your purpose?

Whether referring to individuals or organizations, your purpose is simply the reason why you exist. The best way to share your purpose is to bring the audience in, inspire them with your vision and invite them to collaborate.

Studies have shown that pitches that create engagement and collaboration have effectively gained the desired outcome. The way to move your audience to understand your passion is to use storytelling to explain your WHY and let them connect the dots that resonate. This will attract like-minded individuals with the same values.

When you present something you are passionate about, people can pick that up in your vibration. People, specifically investors and managers, respond to those following a passion because they are more likely to overcome obstacles and go the extra mile to deliver a result.

So be clear from the outset, why you do, what you do.

2. Personable

People do business with those they know, like, and trust.

You need to ensure your pitch covers you and your team’s expertise to give them confidence in your ability, credibility, and authority. Share case studies and stories where you have achieved exceptional results and be personable, not robotic, in your presentation, so they get a good feel for who you are and what you represent. Authenticity is key.

Read the room and make eye contact. The best setting for a pitch is removing all desks and seating people in a semi-circle arrangement. If you control the room set up, you can influence their attention and make them active, not passive, during the presentation.

Furthermore, if you have the opportunity to understand the individuals you are pitching to, you can better equip your presentation to appeal to their personality type (DISC or Myers-Briggs profiling) by delivering information in a style that supports their decision-making process. Likewise, knowledge of their personal interests will help to connect at a personal level.

Mentioning their name, repeating a phrase they have said or painting a picture of their future using your product will not only make them attentive and alert, it will help them envisage working with you in the future.

3. Priceless, Painkiller Priorities

If you can make the problem you solve too important to place a value on, it becomes priceless. Help them see what their life or others will be like from the transformation you deliver and align with their values.

For example, you are not helping people lose weight. You are changing their lives, improving their health, improving their relationships, making them happier – things money can’t buy. You are not just growing their bank balance. You give them freedom to have choices and a lifestyle they want, a good education for their kids. You are not just improving their systems and processes. You are saving them time – the most valuable commodity of all.

The second is painkiller solution.

If you solve a painful problem, you can highlight the pain (and even the cost) of it not being solved. This can make people uncomfortable, but it will help to move them to make a decision.

The third is to unpack their priorities, values, and what motivates them and help them see the transformation you provide with storytelling. The higher the priority, the more likely they will act on it.

4. Prosperous

What's in it for them. Always make the pitch about them and how you can help them.

Share with them the fruitful results that they can expect by doing business with you. By sharing how you understand their biggest problem, struggles and situation, you will develop a deeper connection with the audience.

A pitch should always be tailored and customized to the audience's needs, with the exception of an investor pitch where you may be presenting to multiple parties at one time, like a shark tank situation.

5. Persuasion

Your ability to influence, persuade and get the desired response will be largely linked to your ability to tell your story with compelling anecdotes and evidence.

You’ve heard the saying, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.”

You will need to highlight the features and benefits but focus on the transformation. Features alone don't drive behavior. If you only promote the product attributes, you will likely generate lackluster results. Research has shown decision-making is controlled by the limbic system in the brain. People buy on emotion, then rationalize with logic. You need to move them to an emotional state.

A Harvard Professor, Gerald Zaltman, believes 95% of purchase decisions are made subconsciously. With emotion being the biggest driver of decision-making, focus on making your audience feel during the pitch and all interactions leading up to and following their decision.

6. Performance – Pitch & Promise

Performance is two-fold. Firstly, how you deliver the pitch, and second, the outcome, you promise.

"The most confident person in the room wins."

Pitch with conviction. Believe in your product.

How you deliver the pitch is important. Here some tips to include:

  • Pause after an important statement for impact.

  • Repeat a statistic for impact.

  • Group critical factors into threes for flow.

  • Give your solution a name and use alliteration for simplicity and memorability, i.e., Pitch Perfect Program.

  • Active participation can be achieved simply by asking your audience for a response. For example, “Do you want to hear how we’re going to solve this?” Then wait for the yes or repeat the question.

With your promise, ensure you include your solution's outcome and forecast performance with clear, measurable metrics.

The proof is in the pudding, so if you can, share other results you have achieved that are similar.

7. Pizazz

We have seen one PowerPoint too many with too much text, no supporting visuals, inconsistent design, or no music, which is diminishing your ability to create maximum impact.

60% of people learn and communicate with visuals, so they will understand your pitch faster if designed well. Colour has the ability to ignite an emotional response subconsciously, and music has the ability to change moods and inspire action.

The design of your presentation is critical to highlight the most important information using contrast and scale. You can influence the audience's mood with color and ensure the pitch is delivered with an emotive and engaging format.

A short, impactful video is far more effective at communicating complex ideas than you explaining them. Video also has the ability to raise the level of excitement with music, animation, and real people. The key is to keep them short, punchy, and seamlessly integrate into your presentation. Avoid switching tech, as you will lose momentum and energy in the room.

By touching all the senses, you can achieve the highest emotional response, but this is not about manipulating their subconscious. It is about helping the audience achieve the desired emotional state that your pitch (product or service) will deliver.

You will only attract people that truly need what you have and, therefore, a more sustainable partnership.

As you can see, there is quite a lot of detail and preparation required to present the perfect persuasive pitch.

If you need help developing a pitch, sales deck, or after some coaching, contact Shelley Tilbrook at the fruitful group to discuss your requirements or join the waitlist for the Pitch Perfect Program, a 6-week online training program – your playbook to develop, design, and deliver a persuasive pitch.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and visit my website for more info!


Shelley Tilbrook, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Shelley Tilbrook is a leader in building brands, presenting persuasive pitches and using storytelling to captivate, connect and convert audiences. After a corporate career in sports and events as a senior marketing executive, she launched her own digital marketing and branding agency, Fruitful Group. She combined her mission 'to engage, educate and empower entrepreneurs to scale sustainable brands', with her expertise around strategic marketing, digital transformations and brand storytelling. She developed the fruitful foundations for building blooming brands, the pitch perfect program and the fruitful formula of content marketing to help start-ups and scale-ups, succeed. She founded the Fruitful Faculty, an online school for entrepreneurs and consults across sport-tech, ed-tech, med-tech and eCommerce with clients including; Athletics Australia, Athletes for Hope Australia, Kidney Health, Political Racquet, and many startups. Her purpose: To positively impact lives with fruitful brand solutions.


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