Almost a lifetime ago it feels now, I failed badly when giving a very public presentation In Manchester Town Hall. The crippling fear before, the awful feeling during of wanting the earth to just swallow me up plus the shame afterwards crippled me for years. Finally I did something about it and went on a presentation skills course. There I discovered that nerves are normal and that every accomplished presenter is trained and coached regularly in the techniques of communication.

You could say Pitch School™ was born that fateful Mancunian day in the early 80’s. I went on to have a career as communications specialist, commercial writer and pitch doctor working in or winning work for my clients with organisations like: Apple; Arthur Cox; BT; Clifford Chance; Criminal Records Bureau; Deloitte; FaceBook; Google; Igloo in Melbourne and Sydney; NHS Trusts; National Grid; Big Pension Funds; Royal Mail; Sky; Scottish Hydro Electric; Tesco; The Metropolitan Police; Twitter; and Zurich.

Along the way I was training director at Plain English Campaign and a BBC radio journalist. My two-minute daily slot on a niche sport, horse racing, to a general breakfast audience taught me so much about getting your message across in an entertaining, engaging but short effective burst.

I have spent a lifetime learning about how:

  •  communication works, verbally and in writing
  • we are persuaded and bought and sold
  • to coach communication skills

I have learnt a great deal too about why we believe what we do and how emotions dominate the communication and thinking process of our species of primates. 

Pitch School™ is all about sharing that knowledge with you and coaching you to your next personal best level of performance as a: presenter; lecturer or pitch team member.

 

“There is always a well-known solution to every human problem. Neat, plausible and wrong.” So true but it shouldn’t stop us from our quest for personal meaning and truth. Understanding how communication works is an integral part of this enquiry. The eternal questions cannot be avoided or evaded without a cost to truth itself. this always begins with: “What to say and how to say it?” Clearly is a good start.

Manifesto comes from the Latin manifestum meaning clear or conspicuous. To be conspicuous, means attracting notice or attention, standing out to be clearly visible. 

I believe:

1. Everyone of us has an internal voice, a sense of what is true to us and a range of feelings that we struggle to articulate as precisely as we feel them. Pitch School™ will be a safe place to find your voice, become more aware of the unique nature of your voice and learn how to unleash its real power, so becoming more adept at communicating to others. And to yourself.

2. We are born as natural communicators. A baby’s cry creates lactation. A child’s smile breaks the coldest heart. The beauty of youth turns heads. But somewhere between late childhood and early adulthood many of us loose the easy confidence of early life. The spotlight now makes us nervous. Pitch School™ will help you reconnect to your most confident self while learning how to dance with nerves which are also a natural response to the universal fear of public speaking.

3. Everyone with a little help can become a competent communicator. Most of us can be really good at it if we focus on it. Pitch School™ is priced affordably to make access easy and always has barter places available on public classes if your means are limited.

4. That the materials supporting the classes should be easily available under a range of creative commons licensing for you to use, adapt, improve and share back when you do so. In our first digital century information can be free to all if we make it so. Pitch School™ will be part of that.

5. Free speech is meaningless without the ability or means to articulate your ideas to those in power, to your communities and to yourself. Pitch School™ exists to play it’s small part in improving our global democratic process by enabling its learners to share their ideas honestly and respectfully with others.

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