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Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time [Kindle Edition]

Bill McGowan

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Book Description

Media guru and Emmy Award-winning correspondent Bill McGowan—coach to some of the biggest names in business and entertainment, including Eli Manning, Kelly Clarkson, Jack Welch, Thomas Keller and Kenneth Cole teaches you how to get your message across and get what you want with pitch perfect communication.  He is also a trusted advisor in the C-suites of tech companies like, Facebook, Spotify, AirBnB, Dropbox and Salesforce.com.

Saying the right thing the right way can make the difference between sealing the deal or losing the account, getting a promotion, or getting a pink slip. It’s essential to be pitch perfect—to get the right message across to the right person at the right time. In Pitch Perfect, Bill McGowan shows you how to craft the right message and deliver it using the right language—both verbal and nonverbal.

Pitch Perfect teaches you how to overcome common communication pitfalls using McGowan’s simple Principles of Persuasion, which are highly effective and easy to learn, implement, and master. With Pitch Perfect you can harness the power of persuasion and have people not only listening closely to your every word but also remembering you long after you’ve left the room.


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Review

With Bill McGowan’s book in front of you, your days of thinking “I wish I had said that” will be behind you. His peerless advice offers readers a real chance to be heard and to succeed. (Sheryl Sandberg)

“Bill McGowan has captured the indefinable human essence of his teaching on the written page. You are assured of learning more than you can imagine while enjoying Pitch Perfect.” (Wynton Marsalis, managing and artistic director, Jazz at Lincoln Center)

“[This] guidebook....is evenhanded and straightforward and brims with advice for anyone hoping to brush up on public speaking, effective presentation skills and interviewing prowess both within and outside of the contemporary workforce marketplace.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Success depends on having a great game plan. In Pitch Perfect, Bill McGowan provides just that-winning strategies for how to improve your communication skills, especially in life’s red-zone situations.” (Eli Manning, quarterback, New York Giants)

“In today’s world of micromessages and fleeting attention spans, connecting with your audience is more important than ever. Bill McGowan’s Pitch Perfect provides valuable and proven strategies for anyone looking to communicate effectively.” (Denise Morrison, president and CEO, Campbell Soup Company)

“Bill McGowan has identified a fresh and simple way for us to rethink how we communicate. His innovative strategies work not just in our professional lives but in everyday life as well. That’s why he’s an excellent teacher and why I always enjoy working with him.” (Daniel Ek, CEO, Spotify)

“Bill McGowan proves in Pitch Perfect what his clients already know-he is the premiere communications coach in business today. His insightful advice and strategies work.” (Thomas Keller, The French Laundry)

“You can learn to express yourself more effectively, handle difficult conversations gracefully and deliver a great presentation by following and practicing…McGowan packs the book with valuable examples of what was said versus what should have been said…Filled with smart, valuable advice, Pitch Perfect is a home run.” (Success)

From the Back Cover

The media coach and Emmy Award-winning correspondent Bill McGowan shares his secrets of pitch-perfect communications, showing readers how to communicate with confidence.

During the pivotal moments of our lives, results are often determined not only by our actions but by our words as well. Saying the right thing the right way can make the difference between sealing the deal or losing the account, advancing your career or suffering a demotion. During these moments, it's important to be pitch perfect—to use precisely the right tone to convey the right message to the right person at the right time. Such pitch-perfect moments are crucial in our personal and professional journeys. In Pitch Perfect, the renowned media coach Bill McGowan shows you how to craft just the right message. Along the way, McGowan lays out his Seven Principles of Persuasion, including:

  • The Scorsese Principle: Hold your audience's attention with visual images. Direct the film that plays in your listener's mind.
  • The No-Tailgating Principle: Avoid verbal fender-benders and career-wrecking moments by maintaining a safe talking distance. When in doubt, stop talking and listen.
  • The Pasta-Sauce Principle: Cure boredom by boiling down your message, making it as rich and brief as possible.

In Pitch Perfect, you'll learn how to overcome all these communication pitfalls. The Seven Principles of Persuasion are as easy to learn, implement, and master as they are effective. The right language—both verbal and nonverbal—can make you more confident, persuasive, and certain. It can stir people to listen closely to your every word and to remember you long after you've left the room.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 684 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0062273221
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; 1 edition (1 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DB3A4VS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #213,931 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  156 reviews
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of my new favorite books 30 Jan. 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
i have really enjoyed reading this book. i consider myself a communications aficionado (not quite pro, or even seasoned amateur) and i take it very seriously. compared to numerous other books on communication, this book functions almost like a survey book on verbal communications, and addresses a range of issues - what is the right thing to say, how do you say it, how do you appear while you say it, how to you get the opportunity to say the right thing, and, importantly, how to be memorable. for each of these topics, the author provides a great story that illustrates the topic at work in a way that is relatable to my own experiences. the author also provides mini case study-like bits. for example, he'll provide someone's response to a question, and then state how he would have answered the question. i find it very helpful to see direct critiques of specific language, rather than mere platitudes on what is proper-speak.

do not make the mistake of assuming this book is solely for public speaking. it is not at all. clearly public speakers will benefit, but the lessons are equally applicable to the boardroom, your boss's office, and even the bedroom. anyone who verbally communicates with other people can gain from the book.

to the obligatory negatives:
- there's a not insignificant amount of fluff and filler text. my version is about 260 pages - it could have easily been trimmed to under 200 probably without sacrificing the author's great writing flair.
- this is a survey-style book, not a deep dive on any of the topics. to be fair, if it were a deep dive on all topics raised, the book would be thick as a dictionary (for those who remember what a printed dictionary looks like). this is not a negative at all actually, just be aware of what you're getting...and you should get this book.

all in all, i can't recommend the book enough. use it as a survey and get a good understanding of many topics that are relevant to verbal communication, and absorb the many practical insights to improve yourself. then, if you feel compelled by the material, start reading any one of many good books that dive deeper into the multiple areas...all the while using this book as a nice framework for keeping all that material logically organized and readily accessible.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pointed Advice to Make you a Better Speaker in all Parts of your Life 6 Feb. 2014
By Janet Perry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Bill McGowan is on a mission, he wants you to be able to communicate more effectively. Not in emails, but in your speech.

Don't think this book is only for you if you're in sales. Throughout our work and home lives, we encounter times when this ability will make us more persuasive or make our points remembered better.

Think it still is't for you? Have you ever given a presentation, been in a meeting, or interviewed for a job? Then you've made pitches and this book will help you; it's packed full of advice.

McGowan distills his ideas to seven principles leading to effective communication. Each has a chapter describing it, telling you how to use it, and giving you examples and pointers. These make up the heart of the book. While I sometimes felt that the analogy between the name and the idea were a bit tenuous, the principles are great.

After these chapters there are two chapters that deal with using the principles in specific situations at work and at home. The home chapter is fantastic. Having been to too many weddings with painful toasts, I'd copy that and hand it out to everyone I know who's marrying.

I cant say the same for the work chapter. It's far too long and seems to have packed too many diverse situations into on place. It would have been better served if more thought had been pout into how to break up and organize this excellent information. As it is people will read it and not be able to find the needed information later.

That chapter is typical of my big problem with the book -- it is unevenly written. Some chapters are concise, clear, and focused. Others are pedantic, dull, and lack focus. The work chapter is one of these. They mar an otherwise very useful book.
140 of 170 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time 11 Feb. 2014
By Dr Mike - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was actually eager to read this book. I thought it would be worth my time. Five pages in and I realized something was very wrong here. I kept pressing ahead and found out the entire book is without any merit. If you get something out of this book, I would be amazed.

There is so much I disliked about this book that I don't know where to start. The entire tone of the book is terrible. The author drops name after name after name. I could care less about these people, and it is a joke as to what name he comes up with next. It is so distracting that you lose sight of whatever point he was trying to make. If there was a point. Maybe the point was that if he dropped a lot of famous names, you would be impressed and buy his services. Yes, this book is just a way to advertise his consulting services. I don't have anything against that, but I think if you understand that going in, then the self-important tone of the book is more understandable.

He gives advice that he doesn't follow himself. In fact in some chapters he is doing the exact thing he is telling the reader to never do. How can you take the content of the book seriously when the author doesn't believe in it himself? For example, the book is much longer than it needs to be. Why? Because he first tells you all of the things he's going to write about. Then he writes about them, then later on he repeats it again in case you missed the times he already wrote about it. It is truly annoying when writers repeat themselves. A speaker is allowed to repeat material, but it is a terrible writing style to use.

In case it is not obvious as you slog through it, the book is not actually about pitching a product, but rather how to present yourself to an audience for a canned speech. I learned nothing about actually pitching a product on these pages. Basically, this is a kind of how-to book for TV announcers learning to read scripted material. The author says you should avoid doing all of the things that are expected of you in a normal business setting. Such as speaking off the cuff about your product. The ability to speak extemporaneously is a necessary skill to learn when pitching a product. It is ridiculous to tell the reader that they don't need to learn how to do that or that it is a bad thing. It is clear that the author has no idea of how the real business world works and what makes for a good public speaker.

In parts of the book the tone is somewhat vulgar and insulting. It doesn't come across as a professional work, but more as blog postings from the Internet. The author also stereotypes people, whether he realizes it or not. He seems to believe that women need extra help in learning how to pitch something because he feels they aren't as capable as men in this area. His dislike of certain poltical groups is also quite obvious, and this gets in the way of the message and is simply not appropriate here. Politics is better left to a political book where the reader expects to find it. Here it comes off as immature and rude and simply unnecessary. He also has disparaging remarks for many co-workers and associates and freely drops their names and suggests to the reader how hopeless these people are at making pitches. Mind you, some of these people are considered to be near the top of their profession and they got there by being good speakers. It seems kind of sad and presumptuous when you have to throw professional people you know and maybe even work with under the bus to sell a book. His remarks also extends to people he apparently doesn't know personally, but are public figures. There is no need for any of this. Examples can be used without getting personal and dropping names of professional speakers who had an off day or who have a style that the authors dislikes.

One of the most curious parts of the book was the part about telling convincing lies. The author tells the reader to learn how to lie when pitching to the public. Apparently it takes a lot of practice to make a lie come off as sounding like the truth, so you need to practice. In fact the author tells the reader to spend time thinking up many convincing lies in the event that someday in the future you may need one. I guess if you are in a profession that requires a lot of lying, this might be good advice.

The author has an annoying habit of using the word "allegedly" when trying to quote someone (yet more name dropping). Either the person said it or wrote it and there is a record of it, or they didn't say it. To throw in the word "allegedly" brings the entire flow of the text to a grinding halt because the reader has to stop and wonder if the author is implying that the quote is a lie or not. If you are going to cite a source, then quote the exact words and cite the source, but this use of the word allegedy just makes it sound like the author was too lazy to go back and check his sources.

The suggestion that speakers need to cut out the entire middle of their talks is just outright nonsense. Can you imagine a scientist pitching his or her study to an audience and just having the introduction and conclusion and throwing out the methods and results? While being succinct is always a good idea, the notion that one can arbitrarily cut out entire sections of a talk without regard to the content is laughable.

If you are in business and you take your original work seriously and you want others to take you seriously, this is probably not the book for you. If you are maybe in broadcast television or are an announcer that reads scripted material that is not your own, you might get a bit more out of the book. Also if you are a company spokesperson and just read whatever someone sticks in front of you, you might get something out of the book. If you are annoyed by people who repeat themselves without saying anything of great substance, who give bad advice in areas of business that they know little about, and who drop names to sound important, then you will probably dislike this book as much as I did.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow, You Heard Me! 28 Feb. 2014
By Becca Chopra - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In the era of texting, personal communication skills are often lacking. And our audience is often impatient, so you need to grab someone's attention, keep your thoughts succinct and surprising, learn to make your stories full of visual pictures and learn to ask for what you want in a way that's persuasive. Bill McGowan shares how to do all this and more in Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time.

How many times do we wish we had a do over? I especially appreciated McGowan's advice to be prepared when you're going to get up and talk, and not think you'll be great at ad libbing.

As a workshop leader, I found much of his advise very useful personally. I think McGowan's Seven Principles can benefit everyone, from public speakers to sales and customer service people, to those who want to communicate more effectively in their family and work relationships.

Becca Chopra, author of Balance Your Chakras, Balance Your Life
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent guide to improving business communications 6 April 2014
By Patricia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Anyone in the business world should read this book. No matter how experienced of a communicator you are, there is always the opportunity to improve. This book gives very practical advice and lots of tips and suggestions that I found useful. The author is obviously very experienced and I will use this book to continually improve my communications. The biggest message: no matter how good or experienced you are, you have to prepare! I highly recommend this book.
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