The overture, a state of mind.

Any pitch, however run-of-the mill, requires some level of performance if those pitching are to stand out from their competition and, more importantly, have an impact on their audience. It is show-time. Regrettably, so much effort and energy goes into cracking the strategy and preparing the content that little time is left to stage the show itself.

And all too often the aspect that is overlooked is the opening – the overture. 


Musical definitions include “a prelude that introduces overarching themes’, a composition that “sets the mood for whatever it introduces” and a “foretaste of what to expect”. Composers, from Rossini to Tchaikovsky, all had in common their understanding of  the importance of engaging the audiences’ senses from the outset, raising the emotional temperature and building anticipation.


While ambitions might be less vaulted in the professional pitch, the emotional responses sought are the same and if you are to engage them you need your own overture (which, conveniently, in its alternative meaning stands for ‘a gesture initiating a relationship’).

A surprisingly effective overture is the simple telling of a story. For example, if your pitch is about how you will “transform” a business, a transforming story from personal experience, easily told, will capture interest and engage as an overture that  inspires both you and your listeners. One perceptive musician said “what the overture does is create a state of mind”.