Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal by Oren Klaff

Key Takeaways -



Power frame – The power frame comes from the individual who has a massive ego. His power is rooted in his status—a status derived from the fact that others give this person honor and respect. You will know that you are facing a power frame when you encounter arrogance, lack of interest (a vibe that conveys “I’m more important than you”), rudeness, and similar imperial behaviors.


Power-busting frame – When you approach an opposing power frame, your first and most important objective is to avoid falling into the other person’s frame by reacting to it. And make absolutely certain that you do nothing that strengthens the other person’s frame before your frames collide. Observing power rituals in business situations—such as acting deferential, engaging in meaningless small talk, or letting yourself be told what to do—reinforces the alpha status of your target and confirms your subordinate position. Do not do this! To instigate a power frame collision, use a mildly shocking but not unfriendly act to cause it. Use defiance and light humor. This captures attention and elevates your status by creating something called “local star power.”


Time frame – Frames involving time tend to occur later in the social exchange, after someone has already established frame control. Again, if you want to know who has the frame, it’s easy to observe. When you are reacting to the other person, that person owns the frame. When the other person is reacting to what you do and say, you own the frame. If you wait for someone in the audience to say (or give body language to the effect), “We only have a few minutes left, so let’s wrap this up,” you will lose the frame because you now have to react to that person. Instead, when you see attention begin to bottom out and expire, that’s it. You’re done. Stay in control of time, and start wrapping up. Running long or beyond the point of attention shows weakness, neediness, and desperation.


Time constraining frame – When you encounter a time frame like this, quickly break it with a stronger prize frame of your own. Qualify your target on the spot. YOU: “No. I don’t work like that. There’s no sense in rescheduling unless we like each other and trust each other. I need to know, are you good to work with, can you keep appointments, and stick to a schedule?” YOUR TARGET: “Okay, you’re right about that. Yeah, sure I can. Let’s do this now. I have 30 minutes. That’s no problem. Come on in.” You have just broken your target’s time frame, established that your time is important, and he is now giving you focused attention instead of treating your visit like an annoyance.


Analyst frame – How many times have you been giving a presentation when suddenly one or more people in the room take a deep dive into technical details? That’s the analyst frame coming at you. This is especially common in industries that involve engineers and financial analysts. This frame will kill your pitch.


Intrigue frame – It is important to realize that human beings are unable to have hot cognitions and cold cognitions simultaneously. The brain is not wired that way. Hot cognitions are feelings like wanting or desire or excitement, and cold cognitions come from “cold” processes like analysis and problem solving. To maintain frame control and momentum, you must force your audience to be analytical on its own time. You do this by separating the technical and detailed material from your presentation. Keep the target focused on the business relationship at all times. Analysis comes later. This is the best and most reliable way to deal with a target who suddenly becomes bored and tries to entertain himself with the details of your deal. Your intrigue story needs the following elements:

  1. It must be brief, and the subject must be relevant to your pitch.

  2. You need to be at the center of the story

  3. There should be risk, danger, and uncertainty.

  4. There should be time pressure—a clock is ticking somewhere, and there are ominous consequences if action is not taken quickly.

  5. There should be tension—you are trying to do something but are being blocked by some force.

  6. There should be serious consequences—failure will not be pretty.


Prize frame – What you do is reframe everything your audience does and says as if they are trying to win you over. To solidify the prize frame, you make the buyer qualify himself to you. “Can you tell me more about yourself? I’m picky about who I work with.” At a primal, croc brain level, you have just issued a challenge: Why do I want to do business with you? Prizing is a way to deal with threatening and fast-approaching frames that are likely to push you into a low-status position. When you prize, you frame yourself as high value in the eyes of your target. Prize correctly, and your target will be chasing you.


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