Marwa Helal

Making Business Personal

Life’s a Pitch brings boardroom logic into the loungeroom and bedroom

Whoever said ‘Never mix business with pleasure’ was apparently wrong. Life’s a Pitch: How to be businesslike with your emotional life and emotional with your business life puts a new twist on business life or the business of life.

The art of the pitch, also known as ‘the art of persuasion,’ comes easily to some. For those of us left sleepless the night before a big presentation or sweaty-palmed while meeting an important client, Life’s a Pitch might be just the solution. But you don’t have to be a nervous nerd to benefit from this book. Even the cool and calm can learn a thing or two from the authors-cum-pitch-gurus, Stephen Bayley and Roger Mavity. Bayley was the first Chief Executive of the Design Museum (UK) and is now a celebrated broadcaster and consultant on design and presentation to companies such as Ford and Coca-Cola. Mavity is Chairman of Citigate Dewe Rogerson, one of the UK’s largest financial PR companies. Having run his own advertising company, he has won the business of Honda, Minolta and Burberry, among others. You’re not getting advice from just anyone.

A mixture of counseling, meaningful, well-placed graphics, sociology, anthropology, market research and ‘modern Machiavellianism,’ the book is a unique collection of just the right combination of business tools and guidance. The central theme of the book is that pitching is not just about winning accounts or getting ahead in business, but that it’s the key to getting ahead in life. Whether it’s a presentation or going out to lunch with someone you care about, the authors show you how to get it right the very first time. The sell is that the pitch is the basis for all modern business, ideas being the most valuable commodity in today’s economy. “How you pitch your ideas and how you pitch yourself will determine the course of your life. Learning how to do it effectively (and understanding why you need to) can mean the difference between success and failure: because the truth is, the whole of life’s a pitch,” the book claims.

As the book boasts, “The date which leads to a passionate affair is a pitch. The interview which starts your career is a pitch. Every new meeting, every new opportunity, involves pitching. We’re at it all the time.“ A genre-buster, the book is part business-manual, part philosophy for life. It makes a great gift for anyone just starting out in the business or media world. As well as being an excellent addition to any office coffee table, with its large pictures and fun pull quotes; it’s a joyful skim for the bored waiting-room-attendee. With chapter titles like “Two’s Company, Three’s a Committee, or, the Art of Collaboration,” “The Business of Living—Al Capone, The Queen, and How They Connect,” and “The Importance of Malice,” it’s not hard to see that the authors know how to have a laugh while making their point. The short chapters also make it easy to read in spurts during business trips or on the way to meetings. The best thing about this book is that it will keep you laughing while teaching useful life skills. After all, if life’s a pitch, then this is your ultimate guide.

Life’s A Pitch: How to be businesslike with your emotional life and emotional with your business life
Steven Bayley and Roger Mavity
Available at Virgin Megastores •

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