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3.6 out of 5 stars32
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 21 August 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 further...so the seduction ended there.
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on 7 April 2014
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. If the author didn't spend so much time looking at himself in the mirror he might actually have thought about how to get his message across. But the message, whatever it is, just gets lost in erudition and you're often left wandering what the author is on about. In the end I felt that it wasn't worth it and I quit after a few pages.
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on 30 December 2012
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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on 2 February 2014
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 life. However, the second half of the book was terrible; in fact it was one of the worst pieces of writing I've encountered in years.

There are far better books about selling out there.
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on 24 March 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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on 26 March 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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on 28 February 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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on 16 November 2012
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.

The second book reads like the ramblings of an idiot. It opens with a misquotation, I'm highly suspicious of his use of statistics and his use of unnecessarily long words advertises him as a a well practised obfuscator (sarc.). Utterly unconvincing pitch. Doesn't even cut it as 'the rattling of a stick in a swill bucket; just a swill bucket.

Buy it for the first book. Don't bother with the second.
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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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on 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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