Is passion the most over used word in the pitch?
The dictionary definitions include “object of intense desire”, or “a strongly felt emotion such as love, hate or envy” or for passionate, “capable of revealing intense emotion”. How often, truthfully, can these expressions describe your response to any aspect of your pitch or the prospect? And yet passion will be ‘claimed’.
To impress people about your wit, you don’t claim “I am funny”, you make them laugh. (Incidentally, unless you are indeed genuinely funny, don’t try jokes in a pitch.) Even more so, if you want people to feel your passion, do not proclaim it. “We are genuinely passionate about your project” will ring false.
Either you are passionate or you are not. Generally you can’t just add a dose of ‘manufactured enthusiasm’, or instant ‘professional passion’ during rehearsal and expect it to work on your audience. “Instant passion is like instant coffee; it’s quick and makes you wish you had a percolator”. Cala Lane.
Passion has become a lazy way to communicate willingness to work hard for a client, or customer, says James Edsberg, of strategy consultancy Gullandpadfield www.gullandpadfield.com who lists’ lazy’ passion killer advertisers such as Deutsche Bank “Passion to perform, Purina Catfood “Your pet. Our passion”, Microsoft “Your potential. Our passion” and Fiat “Driven by passion”.
So if overt declaration of passion may be rejected what is the solution? As always, any pitch will be down to what people feel. Do they like you? Do you really, really want to work with them? Does your solution turn you on? If it doesn’t, it won’t inspire them. Have you made an emotional connection?
“Passion is the energy that comes from bringing more of YOU into what you do”