Pitching (no, not that kind)


Don’t worry – this post has NOTHING to do with singing. Unless you’re a vocalist. Then it might. I guess my point is, I will NOT be singing today, and therefore, you are safe.

We’re talking about pitching ideas!

If you’re anything like 2014 me, the concept of pitching an idea might be a little foreign to you, or totally terrifying, or even a mix of both. Whether it’s something you do often or have never done before, pitching can make anyone nervous.

When you have a new idea, it is often very tempting to hold it close to you, nurture it and wait until it has grown into something more real before you share it with the world. However, by the time you’re ready to share it, you’ve invested a lot of time and energy (and sometimes, * cough many times cough *, money) and it becomes hard to adapt to feedback. If anyone remembers my post on the sunk cost fallacy, you’ll know what I’m talking about.  

My husband reminded me recently about how afraid I was to tell him of my interest in entrepreneurship when I first started studying it for myself – I had been quietly getting involved in a few online communities, reading a lot (secretly) and was embarrassed to mention I had a professional interest in addition to playing the saxophone. It seems silly now, but I was terrified to share my idea with even him back then – yet here I am a few years later proudly pursuing my multi-faceted career.

Anyway, pitching is a valuable idea testing tool that I wish we utilised more in the fine arts. Think about it – how often do you stand in front of a room full of people and try to sell them on your new ideas? We don’t even do that for recital programming, let alone for our own marketing ideas, branding ideas, or venture ideas.

 Imagine what would happen if you stood up at the beginning of the semester in your studio class and pitched your recital program to your colleagues? Why do these pieces fit together? What are you trying to have your audience experience through your programming? What historical concept are you going for?  

I’m not saying you need to create a business idea and pitch it to your friends (unless you want to), but pitching is a valuable tool through which you can receive instant feedback on an idea, learn to justify your decisions through Q & A’s and develop confidence that your ideas are well developed and clear.

The even better part? If your ideas are not well developed and clear, you’ll be able to figure out how to adjust and adapt them before you reach the point of no return!

 Side note: I would love to try this in a masterclass with some of my students to see what they come up with!

Pitching doesn’t have to be big and scary and complicated, and the more you do it, the more confidently you will be able to share your ideas and projects.  You might even get some feedback that changes the way you thought about your project in a really great way!

So, get on out there and give it a try! Set yourself a challenge to pitch your recital, event, business idea or project to a group of your friends and see what comes back.

What’s the worst that can happen?!