top of page

The key points of 'Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal By Oren Klaff

Oren Klaff's 'Pitch Anything' is a compelling guide that provides readers with a robust framework for presenting, persuading, and ultimately winning deals. The book dives into the STRONG methodology, a strategic approach to pitching that encompasses setting the frame, telling a compelling story, and driving decisions. It also delves into the psychological aspects of pitching, emphasizing the importance of understanding cognitive biases and neuroeconomics. Klaff's insights into framing, narrative construction, and decision-making strategies offer valuable tools for anyone looking to improve their pitching skills and close more deals.

Key Takeaways

  • The STRONG methodology is central to Klaff's approach, outlining a step-by-step process for crafting persuasive pitches that captivate and convince potential clients or investors.

  • Framing is a key concept in 'Pitch Anything,' where controlling the context and perspective of the conversation can significantly influence the outcome of a pitch.

  • Understanding the psychological underpinnings of a pitch, including cognitive biases and the role of neuroeconomics, is crucial for creating compelling presentations that resonate with the audience.

  • A successful pitch relies on a well-constructed narrative that demonstrates expertise and builds status, while effectively communicating to the 'croc brain'—the part of the brain that processes basic emotions and instincts.

  • Klaff's strategies for winning the deal emphasize the importance of hot cognitions in decision-making, and the use of scarcity and urgency to create a compelling push and pull dynamic that leads to a closed deal.

Understanding the STRONG Methodology

Setting the Frame

In the context of pitching, setting the frame is about establishing the underlying assumptions and perspectives that will shape the entire presentation. It's a crucial first step that dictates how your audience perceives your message. A well-set frame captures attention and sets the stage for a persuasive pitch.

Framing is not just about what you say, but how you say it. The frame you establish can either open your audience up to your ideas or shut them down before you've even begun. Consider the following points when setting your frame:

  • Establish authority and credibility.

  • Clearly define the problem your idea solves.

  • Position your solution as unique and necessary.

Remember, the goal is to lead with a frame that resonates with your audience's interests and needs, while also aligning with the core message of your pitch. This is where the art of positive framing comes into play, drawing on empathy and active listening to build trust and facilitate effective communication.

Telling the Story

In the realm of pitching, storytelling is paramount. A compelling narrative can captivate the audience, making your pitch memorable and engaging. It's not just about the data or the facts; it's about weaving them into a coherent and persuasive story that resonates with the listener's experiences and emotions.

  • Identify the core message of your pitch.

  • Craft a story that aligns with your audience's values and needs.

  • Use vivid examples and metaphors to illustrate key points.

Remember, the best stories are those that are not only told well but are also structured effectively. They have a clear beginning, middle, and end, and they guide the listener through a journey that is both informative and transformative.

Revealing the Intrigue

In the context of pitching, intrigue plays a pivotal role in maintaining the attention and interest of your audience. It's about creating a sense of curiosity that compels the listener to want to know more. To effectively reveal the intrigue, one must balance the information given with the information withheld.

Intrigue can be generated through a variety of techniques:

  • Hinting at a unique opportunity or solution

  • Presenting a problem that seems insurmountable, followed by a glimpse of a possible breakthrough

  • Sharing a surprising fact or statistic that challenges common beliefs

Just as 'Building a StoryBrand' by Donald Miller emphasizes the importance of clarity and engagement, revealing the intrigue in a pitch ensures that the audience is hooked and eager to follow along. The goal is to create a narrative that resonates, much like a brand that connects with its customers.

Offering the Prize

In the context of pitching, offering the prize is about making the value proposition irresistible to the potential client or investor. It's not just about the product or service itself, but the opportunity it represents. This stage is crucial as it shifts the dynamic, making the audience feel they are working towards winning something valuable.

  • Highlight the exclusivity of the offer

  • Emphasize the benefits, not just features

  • Create a sense of scarcity

Remember, the prize must be aligned with the prospect's desires and needs. It's about tailoring the pitch to resonate on a personal level, ensuring that the prize feels designed for them. This personal touch can be the difference between a deal and a missed opportunity.

Nailing the Hookpoint

In the context of pitching, nailing the hookpoint is crucial for capturing and maintaining the audience's attention. It's the moment where the pitch resonates with the listener's core interests and needs, compelling them to want more information. To achieve this, one must understand the audience's motivations and tailor the hookpoint accordingly.

  • Identify the audience's main pain points

  • Craft a message that speaks directly to those pain points

  • Use a compelling fact or statement to grab attention

Just as 'Eat That Frog' by Brian Tracy emphasizes the importance of tackling challenging tasks first, in pitching, addressing the most pressing concerns of your audience upfront can significantly increase engagement and the likelihood of a successful deal.

Getting a Decision

After navigating through the pitch, the moment of truth arrives where you must get a decision from your audience. This is not merely about getting a 'yes' or 'no', but about guiding the decision-making process to a favorable outcome. To achieve this, one must ensure that all the preceding steps of the STRONG methodology have been effectively executed.

  • Establish the value proposition clearly.

  • Recap the main points that align with the audience's interests.

  • Address any remaining concerns or objections.

  • Create a sense of urgency to prompt action.

Remember, the goal is to close the deal with confidence, leveraging the intrigue and desire you've built throughout the pitch. Utilize the techniques and strategies akin to those found on platforms like TheBookSearcher, which highlight negotiating tactics from seasoned Wall Street dealmakers.

Mastering the Art of Framing

Frame Control

In the realm of pitching, frame control is the ability to guide the conversation and maintain the dominant perspective. It's about ensuring that your narrative, your values, and your rules govern the interaction. Mastering frame control means you're steering the dialogue in a way that highlights the strengths of your proposition while subtly deflecting and diminishing objections.

  • Establish the primary frame early in the conversation.

  • Recognize when a frame collision occurs and be prepared to assert your frame.

  • Use frame stacking to layer your argument and reinforce your position.

Understanding and utilizing frame control effectively can be the difference between a pitch that resonates and one that falls flat. It's a subtle art that requires practice, awareness, and the ability to read the room. When done correctly, it can lead to a powerful alignment between the pitcher and the audience, paving the way for a successful deal.

Frame Collisions

In the high-stakes world of pitching, frame collisions are inevitable. When two parties come together, each with their own perspectives and agendas, their frames often clash. The outcome of this collision can determine the direction of the negotiation and, ultimately, the success of the pitch.

Frame collisions occur when the dominant frame is challenged by another, potentially leading to a power struggle. The key to navigating these collisions is not to avoid them but to manage them effectively. Here are some strategies to handle frame collisions:

  • Recognize when a collision is happening.

  • Maintain composure and confidence.

  • Use strategic concessions to steer the conversation.

  • Reassert your frame with compelling arguments.

Frame Stacking

After mastering individual frames, Frame Stacking is the technique of layering multiple frames to guide the pitch narrative. It's about creating a seamless flow that leads the audience through a series of emotions and logical steps, ensuring that each frame transitions smoothly into the next.

Frame Stacking is not just about the content of the frames, but also about the timing and order in which they are presented. A well-constructed stack can build momentum and make the overall argument more compelling.

  • Establish the primary frame

  • Introduce supporting frames sequentially

  • Ensure each frame reinforces the others

Deframing Techniques

Deframing techniques are essential when the existing frame is working against you, and you need to dismantle it to create a new perspective. One effective method is to challenge the underlying assumptions of the current frame. By questioning the status quo, you can shift the conversation to a new frame that better serves your pitch.

Deframing is not about being confrontational, but about guiding the conversation to a place where your ideas can take center stage. A strategic approach to deframing might include:

  • Acknowledging the current frame and its limitations

  • Introducing doubt or new information that contradicts the existing frame

  • Pivoting to a new frame that aligns with your objectives

The Psychology Behind the Pitch

Understanding Cognitive Biases

Cognitive biases are systematic patterns of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment. They often affect the decisions and judgments that humans make. One of the most critical aspects of pitching is recognizing and addressing these biases in your audience. Understanding these biases can significantly enhance the persuasiveness of your pitch.

Biases can be categorized in various ways, but some of the most relevant to pitching include confirmation bias, where people favor information that confirms their existing beliefs, and anchoring, where the first piece of information offered sets the tone for everything that follows.

Here is a list of common cognitive biases to consider when crafting a pitch:

  • Confirmation Bias

  • Anchoring

  • Loss Aversion

  • The Bandwagon Effect

  • Availability Heuristic

The Role of Neuroeconomics

Neuroeconomics combines neuroscience, economics, and psychology to study how we make decisions. It explores the neural mechanisms behind decision-making and how they are influenced by economic variables. Understanding these processes is crucial for crafting pitches that resonate with the decision-makers' subconscious.

  • The brain is divided into regions that process different types of information.

  • Emotions and rational thoughts are often at odds during decision-making.

  • Effective pitches cater to both the emotional and rational parts of the brain.

Creating and Relieving Tension

In the realm of pitching, the strategic use of tension can be a powerful tool. Creating tension grabs the audience's attention and heightens their emotional investment in the pitch. However, it's equally important to know when to relieve this tension to avoid overwhelming or alienating potential clients.

  • Identify the audience's pain points

  • Amplify the problem or challenge

  • Present your solution as the relief

By cycling between creating and relieving tension, you engage the audience in a dynamic that keeps them interested and eager for your resolution. This technique mirrors the classic storytelling arc, where tension builds up to a climax followed by a satisfying resolution.

Understanding when to apply pressure and when to offer solace allows you to guide your audience through an emotional journey that aligns with your pitch goals. The book's uplifting stories and messages improve mental well-being, serving as a testament to the power of well-crafted narratives in any pitch.

Crafting the Perfect Pitch

The Importance of Narrative

In the realm of pitching, the narrative is not just a backdrop; it's the driving force that captivates and persuades. A compelling story can transform a pitch from a mere presentation of facts into an engaging journey that resonates with the audience. It's about crafting a scenario where the listener can see themselves, understanding the relevance of your proposition to their world.

Narratives are particularly effective because they tap into our innate desire for storytelling. We are more likely to remember and be influenced by information that is woven into a tale, as opposed to dry, disconnected data. This is why the most successful pitches are those that are anchored in a strong, relatable story.

  • Identify the core message

  • Weave a scenario that includes the audience

  • Highlight the conflict and resolution

  • Make it memorable and shareable

Building Status and Demonstrating Expertise

In the realm of pitching, building status is not about boasting or being arrogant; it's about establishing credibility and authority in the eyes of your audience. Demonstrating expertise is crucial, as it allows the presenter to command respect and attention. This can be achieved through a variety of means, including showcasing past successes, relevant qualifications, and deep industry knowledge.

Expertise is often communicated through the subtle cues you present during your pitch. It's not just what you say, but how you say it. Confidence in your voice, clarity in your explanations, and the ability to answer questions with authority all contribute to the perception of expertise.

  • Highlight your track record of success

  • Share testimonials from respected figures

  • Display confidence and clarity in communication

  • Provide evidence of your deep industry knowledge

Pitching to the Croc Brain

In the realm of pitching, understanding the croc brain—our brain's most primitive part—is crucial. This part of the brain is wired to make quick, survival-oriented decisions based on emotion rather than logic. To captivate the croc brain, your pitch must be simple, clear, and highly engaging.

When presenting to potential investors or clients, remember that the croc brain filters out complex information. It's attracted to novelty and is highly visual. Here are some strategies to effectively pitch to the croc brain:

  • Use bold visuals and strong contrasts.

  • Keep your language simple and your message concise.

  • Create a sense of urgency and importance.

  • Leverage storytelling to make an emotional connection.

Strategies for Winning the Deal

Hot Cognitions and Decision Making

Understanding how emotions influence decision-making is crucial in the art of the deal. Hot cognitions refer to the thoughts that are accompanied by strong emotions, which can significantly sway the choices of the person you're pitching to. It's essential to recognize these emotional undercurrents and steer them to your advantage.

Emotions play a pivotal role in decision-making processes, often overriding logical considerations. By tapping into the emotional drivers of your audience, you can create a compelling pitch that resonates on a deeper level.

  • Identify the emotional state of your audience

  • Acknowledge their concerns and aspirations

  • Craft your message to align with their emotional drivers

By strategically addressing hot cognitions, you can guide your audience towards a favorable decision, making your pitch not just heard, but felt.

The Power of Push and Pull

In the delicate dance of negotiation, the push and pull strategy is a powerful tool to sway the decision-making process. Boldly applying pressure (push) while also creating allure and desire (pull) can lead to a successful pitch. This technique is about balance; too much push can overwhelm, while too much pull can seem desperate.

  • Push: Challenge, create urgency, and establish the need for your solution.

  • Pull: Entice with benefits, build rapport, and align with the prospect's desires.

Understanding when to apply push or pull tactics can be the difference between closing a deal and walking away empty-handed. It's a strategic interplay that requires finesse and an understanding of the prospect's mindset.

Sealing the Deal with Scarcity and Urgency

In the final stages of a pitch, scarcity and urgency can be powerful tools to prompt a decision. When a deal is presented as a limited-time offer, it creates a sense of urgency that can lead to quicker decision-making. Scarcity, on the other hand, leverages the fear of missing out (FOMO) by suggesting that the opportunity is rare or exclusive.

To effectively use these strategies, consider the following points:

  • Clearly communicate the time-sensitive nature of the offer.

  • Highlight the unique benefits that may not be available later.

  • Use countdowns or deadlines to emphasize the limited window for action.

Remember, the goal is to create a compelling reason for the prospect to act now, rather than delay. This approach should be used ethically and honestly to maintain trust and credibility.


In conclusion, 'Pitch Anything' by Oren Klaff offers a revolutionary approach to presenting, persuading, and closing deals. By understanding and leveraging the STRONG method, mastering frame control, and engaging the crocodile brain, readers can significantly enhance their pitching skills. Klaff's insights into the psychological aspects of pitching and deal-making provide a fresh perspective that can be applied across various industries and scenarios. Whether you are an entrepreneur, sales professional, or anyone looking to influence others, the techniques outlined in this book can empower you to deliver compelling pitches and win more deals. Embracing the principles of 'Pitch Anything' can transform the way you communicate your ideas and help you achieve greater success in your professional endeavors.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the STRONG methodology in 'Pitch Anything'?

The STRONG methodology is a framework outlined by Oren Klaff in 'Pitch Anything' to create persuasive pitches. It stands for Setting the Frame, Telling the Story, Revealing the Intrigue, Offering the Prize, Nailing the Hookpoint, and Getting a Decision. Each element is a step in the process designed to capture and hold the attention of the audience and ultimately persuade them to take action.

How does framing affect a pitch according to Oren Klaff?

Framing is a central concept in 'Pitch Anything' that refers to the way information is presented and perceived. Klaff argues that controlling the frame is crucial to a successful pitch, as it influences how the audience interprets the message. Frame collisions, stacking, and deframing techniques are all part of mastering the art of framing to ensure your perspective dominates in any pitching situation.

What role does neuroeconomics play in pitching?

Neuroeconomics combines neuroscience, psychology, and economics to understand how people make decisions. In 'Pitch Anything', Klaff discusses how understanding the brain's response to pitches, particularly the 'croc brain' or primal brain, can help craft a message that is more likely to be received positively and lead to a decision in your favor.

Why is narrative important in a pitch?

Narrative is important in a pitch because it creates a compelling story that engages the audience emotionally and intellectually. A well-crafted narrative can help the audience visualize the problem and the solution, making the pitch more memorable and persuasive. Klaff emphasizes the importance of narrative in building status and demonstrating expertise.

What are 'hot cognitions' and how do they relate to decision making in pitches?

Hot cognitions are thought processes influenced by emotions and desires, which play a significant role in decision making. In the context of pitching, Klaff suggests that understanding and appealing to these emotional aspects can be a powerful strategy for influencing the audience's decisions, as people often make choices based on how they feel rather than just logical analysis.

How can scarcity and urgency help in winning a deal?

Scarcity and urgency are psychological triggers that can motivate people to act quickly for fear of missing out on an opportunity. In 'Pitch Anything', Klaff advises using these principles to create a sense of limited availability or a time constraint, which can encourage the audience to make a decision in favor of the deal being presented. The idea is to make the offer more attractive by highlighting its exclusivity and the need for immediate action.

Related Posts

See All

The key points of 'SPIN Selling By Neil Rackham

The 'SPIN Selling' methodology, developed by Neil Rackham, is a revolutionary sales technique that has transformed the way professionals approach the selling process. This approach emphasizes the impo


bottom of page