Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Teasers and Pitches

Trying to hit things from the other side.  I have real trouble, sometimes, putting a label on what 'this' all is, on what I do and teach.  Sometimes the best way to explain to yourself is to explain to other people.  I'm also crappy at the whole business side of this, so consider this marketing practice as well.

The 'elevator pitch' is something I learned about from writers.  You happen to step onto an elevator and there is the editor of your dreams.  How do you sell him or her on your project? Teasers are things I've been playing with, so:

Conflict Communications
Elevator Pitch:  Marc and I seem to have stumbled on the principles underlying all human conflict.

Teaser: In every long term relationship, there is at least one argument that the couple have word for word periodically.  There were some clues in that:  It's scripted.  You say the same words without ever deciding to.  It's also hard to just walk away without bringing it to closure, finishing the script.  It's subconscious, you are sometimes minutes into the script before you realize that you know exactly what everyone is going to say.  You don't choose it.  It doesn't resolve and at first that was the puzzle... but once we figured out who it served, lots of things came together.

Logic of Violence  
Elevator Pitch: Just simply using the methodology of disaster planning and applying it to self-defense.

Teaser: Take a guy who teaches self defense.  He's well trained and from his work as a bouncer has over a hundred real fights.  How applicable is that?  He's also six foot two, in great shape, and has dragons and tigers tattooed on his arms.  He has had hundreds of real fights, but all with drunk college kids saying, "You don't look that tough to me."  What in the hell does that have to do with an elderly lady mugged for her pension check or a 110 pound drunk girl being singled out for an abduction rape?  Is the approach similar?  The type of attack? The force parity.  You know damn well it's not.  For generations, martial arts has been about fighters teaching fighters how to fight other fighters.  Almost nothing about how to teach victims to survive attackers.

Introduction to Violence sometimes called Ambushes and Thugs
Elevator pitch: It's an introduction to the context of violence.  Most martial artists know how to fight, but they don't know when and they don't know exactly what they will be fighting against.

Teaser/Elevator pitch:  You've been studying martial arts for twenty years?  Twenty years of training in what to do if you were ever attacked by a bad guy.  Cool.  Tell me, in those twenty years have you spent one day studying how real bad guys attack?  Doesn't that strike you as odd?

More a straight pitch:  There are seven areas of vulnerability for your students and if any of those areas are left out of training your students can fight like demons and still lose.  If you are teaching self-defense you have a responsibility to make sure that they understand the legal and ethical ramifications of force; how bad guys really attack; that they practice avoidance, escape and de-escalation; that they have some tools to deal with the ambush and suckerpunch; that they are prepared to break out of a freeze; that there skills for fighting adapt to the real world and; what to do and what they have to deal with after a force incident.

Dream Team
Elevator pitch: Really want an inside view on high-end criminal violence?  It's expensive, but if you think you're up for it I know the guys.

Teaser: You get a former high-end criminal or three; one of the best and most experienced bouncers in the business; a role-playing and safety expert (for obvious reasons) and me.  If you want to know not just how violence breaks down, but how violent people think, plan and react to violence this is a weekend that should rock your world.


Josh Kruschke said...

The flip-side of the elevator speech or the 5 minute pitch is if you can't break down what your doing to that core level then you don't really understand what your doing, or you are unfocused doing to much.

It can really help you find out if what you are doing is what your doing.


Josh Kruschke said...

I just pretty much said what you said... Hmmm... So, what flip side was I thinking of... I was thinking that the elevator speech is normally thought of as a way to sell yourself and your ideas to others in a short time frame.

Ideas tumbling around in my head.

Sorry, another book (a short one) to maybe add to your to read list, if you haven't already read it:
Jeffrey Gitomer's Little Green Book of Getting Your Way - How to Speak, Write, Present, Persuade, Influence, and Sell Your Point of View to Others.

Just thinking out-loud,

ush said...

All the elevator pitches should start by threatening to violate the guy in graphic detail. It'd be kinda like those stalls that offer free samples

Toby said...

Very, very nice 'pitches', sums it all up well!

Only one thought, Dream team isn't expensive, it's just appropriately priced for the logistics involved...

JessicaLee said...

I like it. We had to distill our projects in Architecture School down to one or two sentences (teaser). Then had 2 mintues to expand (pitch). Had an egg timer ticking away. 'Give your audience the match, let them light the fire.'

Terje said...

Price ;-)?

Anonymous said...

Stop short-selling yourself. If there is any phrase I hate, it's "common sense", and the pitches sound a lot like "Well, this is pretty obvious, but blah,blah, etc. or "we just sort of stumbled on blah, blah, whatever" Stop that. Sell the solution, and don't excuse yourself for having the insight and courage to bring it to anyone's attention. If it was obvious or easy, you wouldn't have a product.