The change must give rise to stakes

The change must create new winners and losers. If it doesn’t, your audience is probably justified in preferring the status quo to whatever you’re pitching.

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Great Pitches Start With Change

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Declare a discrete change—a 0-to-1 disruption—even if it feels like you’re exaggerating.

This works because your finality pries open audiences’ minds to the possibility that the rules of the game have changed in a fundamental, permanent way.

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The change that starts your pitch cannot be a change that you are bringing about, that you want to bring about, or that you think should be brought about.

Rather, it is a change that has demonstrably already happened (or demonstrably happening and unstoppable). It is not the result of your company, product, or idea.

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The hard part about flouting convention, of course, is doing so while simultaneously satisfying the previous criterion—making the case that the change has already happened in a way that sparks recognition.

In this sense, naming the change is an act of journalism. Great journalists look for developments that are new (and that create stakes for readers) yet demonstrably happening.

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When you’re swimming in relevant changes, you have two choices: (1) choose the one that best meets the criteria above, or (2) craft a master change statement that captures all of them under one umbrella.

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How do you know you’ve nailed this critical element of your story for sales, fundraising and leadership? 

  • You’re ready to replace traditional mission and vision statements with the change—and the future you commit to making real for your audience 
  • You can imagine that 90% of your content—CEO keynotes, content marketing, etc.—will be about the change and its impact. 
  • Audiences open up about how the change affects them, how it scares them, and how it presents new opportunities.

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