Thursday, 14 June 2012

Book Review: Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff

Pitch Anything: Position, Present, and Promote Your Ideas for Business Success ‘Pitch Anything’ by Olen Klaff is a book which has a big claim on the front cover: “An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading and Winning the Deal”.   I’m a big fan of books that clearly set out what they intend to cover in the book and then spend the whole book covering it and this book is one of those - I would rate this book 4.5 / 5.0. 

On the first page Klaff sets out his aim in the book:

“There is a fundamental disconnect between the way we pitch anything and the way it is received by our audience.  As a result, at the crucial moment, when it is most important to be convincing, nine out of ten times we are not.  Our most important messages have a surprising low chance of getting through.  You need to understand why this disconnect occurs in order to overcome it, succeed and profit.  This book tells you how”
The basic premise behind the book (as I read it) is that in order to be successful a pitch needs to be ‘simple, clear, nonthreatening and above all intriguing and novel’.    The formula that Klaff is summed up by the acronym STRONG:
  • Setting the frame
  • Telling the story
  • Revealing the intrigue
  • Offering the prize
  • Nailing the hookpoint
  • Getting a decision
The book covers several topics including:
  • The theoretical and psychological basis for the method
  • Frame control
  • Status
  • Pitching the big idea
  • Frame stacking and hot cognitions
  • Eradicating neediness
The greatest strength of this book is that it gets right the balance of providing background, instructions, examples and evidence of how the different techniques work.    It is worth a read for the reader who is looking for a different technique to pitch or simply for those looking to be more effective in their commercial dealings.


ü  Sets the book’s premise in a
clear and concise manner and then spends the whole book delivering on this

ü  Simple, easy to follow language which intuitively explains the psychological elements of the technique

ü  Draws all the techniques together at the end to a detailed example of a pitch that was won using the method


û  Klaff big notes himself a lot in this book.  While it doesn’t detract too much from the book it did get on my nerves a little bit.

  • There is the very real risk that this will become an over-used technique if this book achieves the success I think it should
  • While this is not a reason to stay away from it – be aware that your pitch is not going to be as successful if the last 10 people are using exactly the same technique 
  • I recommend this book to anyone that has to sell for a living but also to those who are looking to change their way of interacting with others in a commercial environment. 

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