Perfect pitch, more formally known as absolute pitch, is the ability to sing or play any note with no former reference tone.
This means that, if you were to ask someone with perfect pitch to sing an ‘F’ on the spot, she would be able to reproduce it completely accurately with no guiding note.
Music gets so much easier when you instinctively know all the notes. But being able to reliably identify or reproduce a pitch without error is rare. If you're not born with perfect pitch, prior studies suggest, your only hope of getting it is to receive musical training at a critical period in your childhood. However, new research at the University of Chicago suggests otherwise. Perfect pitch might be attainable well into adulthood.
So adults can be trained to develop “perfect pitch.” Our pitch in marketing is like the pitch that we all learned about in Music in elementary school. We must practice it, hone it, and perfect it so that we all develop that Perfect Pitch. Whether it is your quick elevator pitch, your longer social pitch, your media pitch or your partnership pitch, most of us are not born with a natural ability to pitch. Rather, it takes hard work and much practice to develop that perfect pitch.
The elements of a pitch.
If you are creating your elevator pitch, it is no longer than thirty seconds and consists of your claim to fame, the problem and your solution, and your mission. Your social pitch is one to two minutes long and consists of your name and what you do; your authority; the problem/pain; your solution/gain; your authentic why; and your reputation.
The first step to crafting your perfect pitch is to write your first draft. But remember that it is just a first draft. There should be many more. You may even find yourself drafting several versions of each pitch. Determine who your ideal listener is, and craft your pitch based on what you would want him to know. Make it conversational and unique. Consider making predictions about what the future holds or busting a popular myth. Include case studies and personal stories. Include a call to action. Create a memory hook that appeals to all of the basic senses. Or better yet, if it comes naturally to you, make people laugh.
Then practice your pitch on your friends and family. Watch how they react. Listen to their suggestions. Rewrite your pitch as you observe how it is received.
Practice your pitch often.
You want it to roll off your tongue effortlessly. It should become second nature to you. Deliver it at least three times a day. Good opportunities for practice are while you are driving your car, shaving, or in line at the grocery store. Deliver your pitch instead of singing in the shower. Tape it to your bathroom mirror and to your refrigerator door. Keep a copy on your dashboard. Learn it by heart. Deliver it to your prospective clients. Deliver it to your referral sources. Deliver it at events. Deliver it to other professionals. Deliver it to anyone who will listen.
When delivering your pitch, be sure to speak clearly so that you can be heard. Smile. Act enthusiastic and you’ll be enthusiastic. If you don’t show your listener that you believe in what you do, neither will he. Finish strong; if you rush, your memory hook fades in your haste to finish and ends up sounding like an apology.
As time passes and your career and interests change, you’ll need to update your pitch. It should change with you as you and your profession grow. Don’t get stuck with a tired, old pitch that doesn’t reflect your current passions. Take time each year to review your pitch and revise it accordingly. And then, just like you did before, practice your new pitch often. Observe how it lands and revise it again.
With hard work and practice, you, too, can attain a Perfect Pitch!
To find out more about how to create the perfect pitch, whether it’s your elevator pitch, your cocktail party pitch, or your media pitch, read From Rookie to Rainmaker, available at www.OpenPalmPress.com.
Joryn, attorney and Open Palm Founder, began her own firm here in Tampa after a 14-year career in law, 2 of which she served as a professor of law at Stetson University. She is a recipient of the prestigious A. Sherman Christensen Award, an honor bestowed upon those who have provided exceptional leadership to The American Inns of Court Movement. For more information on Joryn’s professional experience, take a look at her resume.