PITCH ANYTHING: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal by Oren Klaff

Genres: Sales, Entrepreneurship, Business, Presentations, Nonfiction

Rating: 4/5

Recommend to: People in sales, Customer service, Entrepreneurs, Project managers, Marketers, Start-up founders, Coaches.

Number of pages: 225 pages


The book will give you valuable understanding of grabbing attention of anyone, which is one of the most important skills a person can have. A lot of successful entrepreneurs proved that you do not have to be the smartest person in the room to be successful, but you do have to be the one that gets the smartest people on your team/side. The author repeatedly emphasized that when pitching we should be aware of the evolution of our brain. Keep in mind that we use our neocortex part of the brain when we try to explain/pitch something, but the information in the other persons brain is first being processed by the crocodile/lizard brain. Because of the different roles and ways of processing information of the mentioned brains your great idea might not be accepted by your audience. It might not get the audience’s attention. For your message to get through and make an impact in your audience’s mind you must make sure you stimulate every stage of the brain – first the crocodile/lizard brain, then the midbrain and last the neocortex. For that to happen in the right sequence the author developed a formula of factors that helped him make million dollar deals. You need to know when to have and express authority, when to push the client away, and when to pull him back, how to frame your question and metaphors, what kind of mindset you must have and how to get it. 


  • When pitching frames create context and relevance. The person who owns the frame owns the conversation.
  • When we are pitching something we are using the neocortex to form the ideas, putting them into language, and presenting them.
  • Our thought process matches our evolution: First survival, then social relationships, and finally problem solving.
  • Messages that are composed and sent by your young neocortex are received and processed by the other person’s old crocodile/lizard brain.
  • The crocodile brain doesn’t process details well, and it only passes along big; obvious chunks of concrete data.
  • Unless your message is presented in such a way that the croc/lizard brain views it to be new and exciting it is going to be ignored.
  • If there is one place in the brain you do not want your pitch to end up, it is the amygdala. This is the fear circuitry of the brain.
  • When pitching it is vitally important to make sure your message fulfills two objectives: You do not want your message to trigger fear alarms, and second, you want to make sure it gets recognized as something positive, unexpected, and out of the ordinary – a pleasant novelty.
  • The moment your frame makes contact with the frame of the person you are calling on, they clash, battle and grapple for dominance. If your frame wins, you will enjoy frame control, where your ideas are accepted (and followed) by the others.
  • Human beings are unable to have hot cognitions and cold cognitions simultaneously. Hot cognitions are feelings like wanting or desire or excitement, and cold cognitions come from “cold” processes like analysis and problem solving. To maintain frame control and momentum, you must force your audience to be analytical on its own time. You do this by separating the technical and detailed material from your presentation.
  • When asked about details, do answer fast, and directly with high-level details only and go straight back to the relationship question.
  • Most intelligent people take great pleasure in being confronted with something new, novel and intriguing. Being able to figure it out is a form of entertainment. Our brains are wired to look for these kings of pleasurable challenges.
  • When your target drills down into technical material, you break that frame by telling a brief but relevant story that involves you. People will pause, look up, and listen because you are sharing something personal.
  • Consider three of the most fundamental behaviors of human beings: We chase that which moves away from us. We want what we cannot have. We only place value on things that are difficult to obtain.
  • Framing money as the prize is a common error – often a fatal one. Money is never a prize. It’s a commodity, a means for getting things done.
  • Realize that money is almost useless to any buyer/investor until it purchases what you have (what they want).
  • Public spaces are the most deadly beta traps and should be avoided.
  • Your position in the social hierarchy is an artificial measure of your worth to others. A construct based on your wealth, your popularity within society at large, and the power of the position you hold.
  • Your social value is fluid and changes with the environment you are in, or create. If you wish to elevate your social value in any given situation you can do so by redirecting people into a domain where you are in charge.
  • As a survival mechanism, the other person’s brain is making a priority to understand where you fit in the social structure.
  • In general when pitching, just ignore conversation threads that don’t support your deal, and magnify ones that do.
  • Movement is a critical element in the “why now” frame. Your target needs to understand the forces that are pushing your deal and to understand that your success is inevitable and imminent as a consequence of these greater forces.
  • Don’t show people a static picture of how the world would be if your plan were implemented, instead show them how your idea is moving away from the current standard to a new way of doing things.
  • When you start your pitch you do not have to explain the big idea in great detail. Your target does not want the deal yet. Details will turn your pitch cold.
  • It doesn’t matter how much information you give, what matters is how well you can tune your information to the other person’s mind.
  • Attention is a cocktail of chemicals served up to the brain as a lubricant for social interactions. When a person is feeling both desire and tension, that person is paying serious attention to what is in front of him.
  • Attention is a cocktail of dopamine (desire) and norepinephrine (tension). To give a dopamine kick and create a desire offer a reward, to give a norepinephrine kick and create tension, take something away.
  • Dopamine level rise in the brain when you see or hear about something you want, and also when you are introduced to something novel. Dopamine motivates the human body to act on something and ignore others.
  • A research done at the university college London suggests that getting what you expected to get produces no dopamine kick, but a novelty in the form of an unexpected gain gives the brain a blast of dopamine.
  • Curiosity derives from an information gap – the difference between what you know and what you want to know. That is the addictive quality of curiosity. It is only when the target feels that he knows enough to fully understand your big idea that the curiosity ends. At that point the pitch is over.
  • The dark side of dopamine is if the target is expecting a reward and do n0t get it, dopamine levels fall of fast. When dopamine levels fall fast the feeling of stress is just around the corner.
  • Tension is the introduction of some real consequences to the social encounter that something will be gained or lost.
  • If you always pull the target toward you, he or she becomes cautious and anxious. Constantly pulling someone is a signal of neediness.
  • A pitch narrative can be thought of as a series of tension loops. Push then pull. Create tension then resolve it.
  • To hold your target’s attention, there must be tension guiding the interaction. If there’s no conflict, the target may be politely “listening” but there’s no real connection.
  • When pitching comes to the part of numbers prepare your pitch for demonstrating good skills at budgeting and not at projecting revenue.
  • When pitching don’t forget to describe your competition, how your competition can jump into the game, and how easy it is for your customers to switch out your product with another.
  • When your offering the deal you have to in clear and concise terms, tell the audience exactly what you will be delivering to them, when it will be delivered, and how. If they play a part in this process, explain what their roles and responsibilities will be.
  • Hot cognitions are primal. Whenever there’s a rush of excitement, it’s hard to get the neocortex to do any work at all. The croc/lizard brain hijacks the brain functions and no analysis gets done.
  • Needines equals weakness. Broadcasting weakness by seeking validation is often a death sentence.
  • People want what they can’t have. So when you finish your pitch, deny your audience. Start to pull away. In doing so, you banish insecurity and trigger a powerful prizing effect on your audience. They will come to you.
  • Emotions are how we encode things of value and how we link events to our memory.
  • “You can’t just pull value out of a community. You have to put value back in” – Oren Klaff
  • People must feel as if they have free will to make their own decisions.
  • Frame control is about controlling which angle your deal is seen from.
  • Nothing will freeze your pitch faster than allowing your audience to grind numbers or study details during the pitch. The key to preventing this is to control access to details.
  • When you are reacting to the other person, that person owns the frame. When the other person is reacting to what you do and say, you own the frame.


The author suggests we should stack the following four frames in a quick succession in the following manner to grab the most attention from your audience.


  • Introduce something the target is sure to want but cannot get right now.
  • No one is seriously going to go into business with you untill they know something about how you conducted yourself in tough situations. People want to know you have faced obstacles and overcome them. They want to see you in situations that reveal your character.
  • Tell your target how you solved a problem for a different client as in a narrative. When you tell your narrative, it’s not what happens to you that makes you interesting, but it’s what you do about the situation you are in.


  • Position yourself as the most important party in the deal.
  • Pitch the prize frame like: “Before things go any further here, I need to figure out who you people really are. We have to be cautious who we bring on board. Can you tell me why we would enjoy working with you?”
  • Over time you will see that the prize frame does not rely on words and explanations. It’s more about the strength of your convictions about who or what is the prize.


  • Research shows that in nearly all instances, the addition of time pressure to a decision-making event reduces decision quality.
  • Time pressure triggers a scarcity bias in the brain, and potential loss of a deal triggers fear. But we can lose trust of our clients if they see this just as a sales tactic.
  • If you use time framing, use it so that you explain untill when and why do your clients have limited but a reasonable amount of time to decide.


  • Point out that business with you adds value to them since you are an expert in your field.

There is one more frame that we have to keep in mind. And this one can make or break the whole pitching session if not done right, even though you got the previously mentioned sequence of frames right. We are talking about the:

The POWER frame

  • You will know that you are facing a power frame when you encounter arrogance, lack of interest, rudeness, and similar imperial behaviors.
  • When you approach an opposite power frame, your first and most important objective is to avoid falling into the other person’s frame by reacting to it. And make sure you do nothing that strengthens the other person’s frame before your frames collide.
  • Do not engage in meaningless small talk, or let yourself be told what to do. If you do anything of the previously mentioned you are reinforcing the alpha status of your target.
  • You can take the power frame away if you as soon as you come into contact with your target perpetrate a small denial, or act out some type of defiance.
  • Defiance and light humor are the keys to seizing power and frame control. Keep it fun, do it with a grin on your face and move the meeting forward in the direction you want.
  • Example how to control the frame: The Target: Thank you for coming over. I only have 15 minutes this afternoon”, you: “That’s okay, I only have 12.” – and you smile but are serious.


Covert Persuasion
Book about selling by Paul Smith
Thinking Fast and Slow Daniel Kahneman



Thank you for your time. I hope you have found this book review helpful. Talk to you in the comment section.

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