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Life's a Pitch [Paperback]

Stephen Bayley , Roger Mavity
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

11 Sep 2008

The pitch is the absolute essence of modern business. Ideas are the most valuable commodity in the modern economy and it is human skill which develops them. In pitching for new business, ideas and emotional intelligence dominate. However the skills of the pitch are not only relevant to the world of business, rather they apply to just about every significant personal transaction in your life...

Life's a Pitch is the ultimate how-to book - a mixture of mechanics and magic. Nothing like it has been written before. A mixture of mentoring, graphics, anthropology, market research and modern Machiavellianism, this book will prepare you for success. So whether at a sales conference in corporate conference room hell or over lunch at a glamourous restaurant, Life's a Pitch tells you how to handle human transactions. A pitch is not a meeting, it's a drama. A pitch is not about transferring information, it's about transferring power. It is business, but it is also theatre. And the results of a successful pitch are - quite simply but rather persuasively - money and power.

Part inspirational manual for business, part guidebook to a successful and happy social life, Life's a Pitch is written as the result of an accumulated half century of (mostly successful) pitching by the authors. Ground-breaking and genre-busting, it will transform the way you think about the art of persuasion for ever.

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Life's a Pitch + Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite + A Technique for Producing Ideas (McGraw-Hill Advertising Classic)
Price For All Three: 17.27

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi (11 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780552156837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552156837
  • ASIN: 0552156833
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 12.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"If only I had read this book at the beginning of my career, where would I be now? Every ambitious person should read it" (Sir Terence Conran)

"Crammed with ideas and rich in the kind of quotations that have a way of giving you a jolt up the spine and lodging themselves in your brain" (Time Out)

Book Description

How to sell yourself and your most brilliant ideas

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars sexist 21 Aug 2010
There is some amusingly expressed advice in Book 1 and the exploration of the significance of emotion in business practice is refreshing, especially as the glass ceiling has often been attributed to the inability of women to keep emotion out of the workplace.
What a pity then, that Book 2 loses the plot by substituting sex for emotion and abandoning the 'unconventional wisdom' of the first half, for plain old-school male chauvinism. In the chapter, 'Seduction, or, how to get a yes', militant feminists are termed 'anaphrodisiac hordes'; rape is described as 'seduction badly executed'; and the chapter's ending sounds like the drooling of a dirty old man. That put me right off reading the seduction ended there.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some good advice in the first half of the book 21 Nov 2012
This is a strange book. The book has two authors, each of whom writes half of the book.

The first half of the book is written by Roger Mavity, a successful ad agency executive. This half of the book is quite good and would have gained a 3 or even 4 star review on its own. But the second half of the book written by Stephen Bayley (an academic and art historian) is bizarre, long-winded and pointless.

The first half is well-written and broken down into 29 short chapters of between 2 to 8 pages. The advice on how to pitch begins with how to come up with ideas (Mavity suggests working alone to come up with ideas or with only one partner rather than engaging in group meetings and brainstorms) through to how to filter the ideas and then how to come across well. I simply didn't agree with some of his advice. For example, he recounts a story in which he lost his temper with a client and his temper ended up winning the client. That may have been true, but as advice it's hard to know when it would be appropriate to lose one's temper! I can think of many more occasions on which losing one's temper would jeopardise a client relationship rather than win one. However, there are lots of pieces of good advice about how to construct an effective and winning presentation.

If only the book has stopped at page 142. Unfortunately, Stephen Bayley then takes over and writes around 150 pages of prose that would seem more appropriate for some intellectual discourse on the meaning of what a pitch is. I found all of this incredibly difficult to plough through. I found that there were few practical lessons (unlike the first half of the book) and it struck me as rather pretentious and pointless.

If you've read a handful of books on presentations but want something different, then the first half of this book is pretty good - 3 or 4 stars. But do not not not bother with the second half.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Power of Persuasion 26 Mar 2007
Aristotle and Shakespeare had a name for it - they called rhetoric the art of persuasion, and like Bayley and Mavity, knew that to persuade involved passion, emotion and getting your audience's imagination fired up.'Life's a Pitch' is different from all those boring business How-To-Succeed books because it shows how every transaction in life involves the emotions, whether you're pitching for a new client, asking for a mortgage, or negotiating a tricky sex life. The book's design is a joy to behold, and the style sparkles with wit and passion, seducing the reader -perfect examples of the book's subject - the power of persuasion.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life's a Pitch 24 Mar 2007
This is a brilliant book. It's so wittily instructive whether you're in business or not. Beautifully designed too. I would recommend the book to all young people starting out after university or college as well as anyone selling anything to anyone.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars something quite different 26 Mar 2007
this book is something quite different - if you're nervous about pitching (yes, I am, how about you?) it tells you how, it gives you the info and the confidence. But it's also very funny, witty and beautiful to look at. I loved it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The what??? 30 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because the blurb sounded good. What a mistake, the authors were clearly having fun with each other in the beginning but then they either got bored with the book or decided to throw any kind of bumpf into it to fill pages. The result is frustratingly incoherent and far removed from the premise. A perfect example of a 'put-downable' waste of time.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just read the first half of this book 28 Feb 2011
This book is essentially two books, and with some imagination, you can see it as three books. The first book is good, really good. It pretty much lays out all the steps to create a successful pitch. For someone who works in finance and accounting (me) it gives a very good insight into sales and advertising.
The second book is .... I don't know what to make of it. It sounded like the ramblings of a professor. It never seemed to make a point.
The third book is actually the appendix where the authors have fictional interviews with several historical figures. This part fits nicely with book 2.

Book one was written by someone who has work experience in the advertising business. Part 2 was written by someone who has not.

Buy this book for book one or leave it on the shelf.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Bag 20 May 2008
Weird piece of work this. The first half is really good. It's mildly annoying - ad people seem to be unable to stop themselves sounding smug, but the advice is good, basic common sense.

Second half is like one of those mind maps people seem to like so much, a sprawling mess.

Buy it for Book 1.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING
This book was a easy read and very inspiring. I wish I had read this a long time ago. Eye opener.
Published 2 months ago by A L M Andersson
1.0 out of 5 stars Ruined by some offensive (and dull) writing in the second half
This is a book of two halves, by two different authors, in two very different styles. I enjoyed the style and content of the first half. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr R C
2.0 out of 5 stars This is a half book really.
The firs part is interesting, well written and useful. You'll read it with pleasure and actually learn something. The second part however just fails. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Simone Trubian
2.0 out of 5 stars Well matched pair
Many of the preceding reviews assert that the second half of this book is manifestly inferior to the first half.

I consider that to be grossly unfair to Mr Bayley. Read more
Published 4 months ago by D. Bain
5.0 out of 5 stars forget the 3Rs
Reading wRiting, aRithmetic. only half of your education. this book is the other half. read it. learn it. live it. cathartic for me. so much wisdom here. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Macca
2.0 out of 5 stars Half of the book is OK to fairly good. Half is really bad.
I can't recommend this book. The first half of the book was fairly readable and had a few good stories in it and perhaps a few ideas that I took away that I can apply to my own... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sabrina
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny and useful
I got this to help boost my confidence in selling myself when going on interviews or presenting my work as a commercial artist. Read more
Published 9 months ago by valentina ruggiero
3.0 out of 5 stars A book of two halves
Two authors and two completely different reads. The first part of the book is engaging, interesting and very useful. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mark Charles
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value for money
It was a second hand book but good for the price. I would reccommend it. Half of the book, as it is separated on two parts, was really interesting for me. Read more
Published 19 months ago by jyjyba
3.0 out of 5 stars Put's its best foot forward
The first book is both instructive and practicable, with some confessions of an ad man thrown in for good measure. Mildy amusing and I look forward to putting it to good use. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Buzz
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