STATUS: Back in Denver after a red-eye flight. A little bleary.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? YOU’LL THINK OF ME by Keith Urban
Last year it felt like I had done about 8 conferences too many. Big Grin here. So this year I was very careful on how many I actually committed to so truth be told, it’s been a while since I’ve had to do pitch sessions. I certainly got back into the swing of things this weekend with over 30 pitch sessions.
Because it’s so fresh in my mind, I have a couple of things I’d love to share with you readers—just in case you are doing a conference in the near future.
1. As hard as this will be to actually do, try not to be nervous. Agents are pros at helping writers through the pitch session. Even if you botch it to start, we’ll help save the session for you so do let us. In other words, don’t ramble on about your project. If you’ve missed, just stop, ‘fess up to it. Chances are we’ll be charmed and we’ll start asking questions to help you get it right.
2. This one is crucial. Limit your pitch to under 2 minutes and I recommend 1 minute if you can do it.
Because if you talk for the full 10 minutes, trust me, we’ll start glazing like doughnuts and our thoughts will start drifting. It really is hard to focus on someone talking straight for that amount of time without any interaction (and we really try not to glaze).
Luckily, this only happened once for me and when I realized I had lost my focus, I tried to get back into the session. I have no idea if the writer noticed or not. I hope not.
When the glaze is happening, I do look for an opening to see if I can interject and ask a question. Another good piece of advice? If the agent does that, don’t go back to your pitch! Let it ride and move forward from there.