Tag Archives: Gordon and Sarah Brown

The Sarah Brown opening


In the last post, ‘this week’s pitch in  Manchester’, I anticipated that Gordon Brown’s speech would be well written, it was, and rehearsed, it was.  What I had not anticipated, no-one had, was the power and surprise of the opening.  Sarah Brown.

In the Best Practice Guide, ‘Rehearsal. The Discriminators’ (check it out),  one of the eight key things to look for when evaluating a pitch:

 ……. A POWERFUL, ATTENTION-GETTING OPENING.  “You never have a second chance to make a first impression” (Will Rogers).  Assume prospect bases decision on first five minutes.  Capture interest fast with wit and surprise……

The decision to open with Sarah Brown, and it may well have been hers, was brilliant and the impact easily met all the ‘criteria’ above.  Some press comment;  ‘In a surprise piece of stage-craft, Sarah came to the podium to rapturous applause’. ‘ Hearts melt as Sarah lends her man a charming hand’.

The value of the poweful opening in a pitch is twofold.  It starts the task of captivating the audience emotionally and, sometimes overlooked, it boosts the following performers.  There can be no doubt that Gordon’s, for him, excellent and confident delivery gained from the tremendous opening. This is reason enough to include it in the 100 Best.