How To Pitch Any Idea In 5 Minutes


You’re always pitching.

You may not be on the agency new business team, or not really be in, “sales.” But the ugly truth is that you’re always selling ideas.

You’re selling ideas to your boss, your colleagues, your boss’s boss, your spouse, your boss’s boss’s boss… you get the idea.

Think about this the next time you’re asked to present during, “design review.’

Recently I was lucky enough to get some professional coaching from my new friend Brian Burkhart from SquarePlanet.

Some of the notes I came away with may help you the next time you’re  faced with the challenge  of pitching an idea…

Don’t be selfish.

Selfishness on the part of the speaker is the death of most presentations.

Brian offered a simple framework for organizing your thoughts as you prepare  a short talk. Just stick to…

What do you need them to KNOW?
What do you want them to FEEL?
What do you wan them to DO?

Stick to this and you’ll be fine. It seems simple, but it sure isn’t easy.

Here’s how to allocate your time preparing…

87% of your time should be invested preparing your message.
13% of your time should be invested in the design of your presentation.
13% of  your time should be invested preparing your delivery.

Brian is very aware that this adds up to more than 100%. This connects to the idea that…


Do more to prepare, be worth listening to, over-prepare… because your audience deserves it. If you’re not all in when you’re on whatever stage you happen to be presenting from, you’re being selfish.


Edit. Cut. Edit. Cut. Then cut some more. Ask yourself if including an element is selfish on your part before you leave it in your presentation.

Finally, the key giving a memorable talk in a short amount of time is…


Contrast in colors, shapes, ideas, tone, volume, cadence, movement, attitude, gestures, visuals, music, and point of view all help embed your point in the minds of your audience. Remember, CONTRAST.

I’m stoked that I got to work with Brian and the team from SquarePlanet. They really know their stuff. I learned a lot, and I thought I was pretty good at giving short talks…

I’m better now.


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One Response to “How To Pitch Any Idea In 5 Minutes”

  1. Brent Stack
    October 22, 2012 at 1:29 am #

    Great post Rod!

    Square Planet is amazing! I’ve also had the great fortune of working with Brian and his team! I use their
    their formula ( now ) every time I am crafting a message and presentation.

    What do you need them to KNOW?
    What do you want them to FEEL?
    What do you wan them to DO?

    Square Planet is a company to keep an eye on in 2013!