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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 22: Identity Pitching (Why Who You Are Is Your Best Pitch Strategy) | Main | Lesson 20: The Blue Oyster Cult of Pitching (Stage Fright) »

Lesson 21: Once Upon a Pitch…

**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.**

Byron Stanford

He’s back!  Byron Stanford, of Project PresentationHelp for Creating Powerful and Effective Presentations, joins us via video from Spain. 

He’s created a second, dynamite video lesson.  

(If you haven’t watched A Pitch That Sticks, go do that right now.  We’ll wait….)

Watch it.  Share it.  Watch it again to take notes.

It’s that good.




Let Byron know what you think or ask questions in our comments area. 

Byron’s Resources:

More on using the 7 Story types in your presentation or pitch: The Quest, Overcoming the Monster, Tragedy, Rebirth, Rags to Riches, Comedy and Voyage and Return.

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die


Byron is the winner of Slideshare’s Best Presentation of the World contest in the Business category.  And his presentation?  “Tips on How to Pitch.”

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References (4)

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Reader Comments (13)

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January 24, 2011 | Registered CommenterDiane

Great tip about using one of the seven story types in our pitch. As writers, we are, after all, wordsmiths. It shouldn't be hard to tie in our theme to a story type. And when we do, the editor or agent to whom we’re pitching will have a concrete idea of what our story is all about without handing over the synopsis. Brilliant!

You’ve given me the means to develop my pitch. Since my story is a voyage and return story, I’m off to perfect my pitch around that story type. Then I’ll practice, practice, practice. More sound advice!

Thanks for sharing.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJudythe Morgan

Very helpful. I realized as I was watching that my current nonfiction project is indeed a story of voyage and return, so now I'll have a better idea of how to pitch it. Byron, do you have any particular reference you'd like to give to elaborate on the idea of the 7 story themes you discuss (the first one that comes to mind is The Hero's Journey for me)?

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTJ Bennett

Hi, Bryon.

Using the pitch to transport our listener into the movie of our story makes complete sense to me. I do understand my story in cinematic scope--right down to the soundtrack. Communicating that verbally by using the language of the seven story types (or 14 or 36, depending upon who made the list) is exactly what I will focus on now. Thanks for your insight!

Susan Reynolds Smith

January 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Reynolds Smith

Bryon, thanks for a solid presentation. You've given me some real anchors to consider as a I try to hone my pitch, but the big one that sticks in my head is practice, practice, practice ALOUD. As writers, we're so tied to the silence of our mind/keyboard connection, we forget how to verbalize what we're doing. I'm going to a national writers conference next week, so believe me, I'll be practicing for the cat, the mirror, and the computer screen in the hope I'll get a chance to use the "real thing" next week.

January 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVirginia

Great information! thank you.

January 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLynne Marshall

Thanks for the comments!

Hello Judythe, I'm glad the video was useful to you. I'd love to hear about how you plan to implement the story and, of course, if you make a video pitch, don't hesitate to share!

Hello TJ, thanks for your comment on the previous video as well. There are many refferences you could check, I think the books that helped me the most were The hero with a thousand faces by Joseph Campbell and Wagner's "ring" and its symbols by Robert Donington. Although heavy reads, they are full of insight on stories, symbolism and heroes. Good luck with the upcoming book! What's it about?

January 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterByron

Hey Byron-
I never thought about incorporating the language of the type of book I'm writing into my pitch. It makes perfect sense. Sometimes the most obvious hints are the ones we can't see off the end of our nose! My story is definitely about overcoming the monster. I'll be sure to add in key words as I prepare my practice pitch in February.
I also like the breakdown of time limitations and pitching. You've given me a lot to think about.

January 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStacey Purcell

Hi Stacey!

It's always the little details that make the big difference ;) I'm glad you liked the lesson. Remember that the timimg I explain is one approach and not a rule, find what works best for you; don't be affraid to experiment and biuld on what I said. When you find what works, perfect it and don't forget to share it with us!

January 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterByron


What I like about this series is that while it is focused on and adapter to Authors, the adaption really resonates for the corporate worker as well. This way this is laid out makes it very approachable for all "pitching". Thanks for the Content

January 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterScott Holmes

Hi Scott,

I'm glad you like the content. I have a confession to make, I come from a business school... I've always secretely wanted to write, but my expertise comes from the corporate world, mostly with startups pitching for investment. Both things, pitching a startup and pithcing a book are not that different, I think; but I guess that my business side shows here and there.
Anyway, I'm happy everyone is liking it and finding it useful! I hope this business mind of mine, that wants to be creative, can keep helping!

January 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterByron


Early on with Pitch-U concept, we discussed the similarities. I have listened to some start-up pod casts that have a pitch section to it. Lots of affirmation about why the Pitch-U content and the practice makes perfect approach is relevant. Having been around the craft of writing for over 20yrs, I really appreciate how you have adapted the content to tie more directly to writers.

January 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterScott Holmes

Thanks Scott, I'm glad you found it relevant!

January 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterByron

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