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Part skills lesson, part confession, part peptalk: this is my brand new radio interview on Your Book is Your Hook radio program, hosted by Jennifer Wilkov.  You'll recognize her as an expert-in-resident here at Pitch U!
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« Lesson 4: Where's The Beef? | Main | Create a Pitch Video. Learn from Agents and Editors. Sell Your Book. »

Lesson 2: A Kick-Ass Pitch (Do It Like This)

**This Lesson is part of the January series “30 Pitch Lessons – 30 Days.”  Pitch University Pitchfest weeks and Expert-In-Residence weeks kick off the 1st full week in February.**

A good pitch should include a hook.  

So, pay attention, because we're going to show you what a good hook looks like.  

Sam Horn, author of of POP: Create the Perfect Pitch, Title and Tagline For Anything, rocks the pitch for her own book, Tongue Fu.  Here it is....

Sam's Pitch for Tongue Fu

My name is Sam Horn. (Pause).

I’ve written a book on how to deal with difficult people — without becoming one yourself. (Pause.)

It’s called … Tongue Fu! (Big smile.)

Tongue Fu! is … martial arts for the mouth. (Point to mouth.)

Some of the chapters include:

Fun fu! — how to handle hassles with humor instead of harsh words.

Tongue Sue! — Tongue Fu! for lawyers.

And Run Fu! — for when Tongue Fu! doesn’t work.


I know.  Some of you actually ended up at Amazon to buy her book.  This pitch isn't about why she wrote it, how she wrote it, how it's structured, who will buy it, or the 100 things she thinks are cool about her book.  

It's just a kick-ass hook.


Sam Horn is known as America’s Intrigue Expert.  She is an award-winning communication/creativity consultant with a 20 year track record of results with an international clientele including Fortune 500 Forum, Young Presidents Organization, Hewlett-Packard, NASA, Kaiser Permanente, National Governors Association, KPMG, Boeing, Intel and Capital One.  More....


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Reader Comments (26)

Great article! Loved it.

January 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternotyetpublished

I love that this article lets you "see" the pitch yourself, with visual cues and pauses. I got a great sense of how delivering the pitch is like acting a scene. My fear is that, after the great delivery of my lines, I will be asked a follow-up question and they will see what a mass of quiverying self-doubt is behind that confident delivery.

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterClaudine

Dear Claudine, Thanks!! And boy, you sure bring up a great topic. How do you handle follow-up questions? I'll find someone to speak directly to that, because I completely get what you're saying.

Instead of feeling like you pitched, got a yes (!), and now you're conversing with someone because they're so excited.... it feels like a firing-squad test, and you'd better know the right answer or a trap door will open. With spikes at the bottom. You'll never be heard of again....

Little known fact: Pitching let's a writer's imagination run amok and nothing good can come of that. ;)

--Diane, Chief Sympathizer

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

You're right - - I nearly opened another tab in Amazon to check out this book!

January 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterM.E. Anders

This is a great article Diane. Do you review pitch letters?

January 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary E. Martin


Thank you for the time you're devoting to this project....and for the expertise you bring to the table:) We're very fortunate to have an agent take the time to do this for us:)

Loretta Wheeler ( L Reveaux)

January 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterL Reveaux

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There is a hook everywhere. If you want to involve someone in something, there must be a hook for sure.

July 29, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterpaper writer

Thanks a lot for sharing this info with us.

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July 22, 2017 | Unregistered Commentersdfefmnjkl

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