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Introduction: Pitches Going Wrong

What happens when a great pitch goes really, really, bad? So bad you have boiling hot black coffee poured directly into your lap. So bad you you’re told you’re banned and indeed a security officer comes in and escorts you off the premises. What do you do when your pitch goes severely wrong?

House of Parliament: Controlling The Pitch Audience

Anything could happen in a pitch. I’m going to look at the UK Houses of Parliament for an example of when things go wrong. Here is a scene with John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons trying to control an unruly member.

John Bercow: “Resume your seat Mr. Blackford”.

Now and he cries ‘order, order’ up to 20 times over a three minute period.

John Bercow: “The house will have heard very clear, order.

Keeping Control of the Pitch

John Bercow does a number of things. To begin with he asks for some advice from the people that he’s with.

You see how ridiculous things get as MPs file out and they actually wave and say to John Bercow ‘bye-bye; this is childish
and this is the UK Houses of Parliament. You also see that John Bercow throughout keeps his poise. Indeed he smiles. In this situation he is unflustered and remains calm and in control even though it doesn’t look like he has control, he
maintains personal control at all times.

What do we do then in a pitch if people go one step further than in this example? What if in the Houses of Parliament there the particular MP in question started to be abusive personally to John Bercow?

I don’t like people that talk about pitching an actual fact I think you’re dirt, imagine!


In this situation we must remember two things. One, we have a role to perform as a person pitching and two, we’re human beings. If we feel so violated as humans that the audience is being so offensive to us we should remove ourselves in that situation by simply saying, ladies and gentlemen, I think we’ve gone as far as we possibly can, let’s reconvene and speak again when we are more levelheaded. Gather your things together and exit.

Alternatively, if you wish to carry on and you don’t find it personally offensive we must always think about maintaining our sense of self-respect. People don’t buy from others they do not respect. They might not even like you but they should always respect you.