According to EMEC general session speaker David Beckett, a good
business pitch isn’t based on inspiration, but on process.
Working in advertising early in his career, Da- vid Beckett learned the art of delivering a killer pitch from his ;irst boss, Lance Miller. “He was a brilliant presenter,” Beckett
says. “I was totally shy. I hardly said anything my ;irst two
months in the company.”
Miller pushed Beckett into presenting—and to keep
doing it, many times, until he mastered the nuances. “It
seemed to bring out the best in me,” he says.
As he re;ined his pitches, he reverse-engineered others
he heard. “I tried to understand what made them good and
not good,” he says. “I was continually learning. It’s been a
Fast forward 20 years to today and Beckett, now an
energetic and precise speaker, has built a business, Best 3
Minutes, based in Amsterdam, where he has coached start-
ups and corporate innovation teams at Google, ING and
PwC, among other ;irms, on how to pitch.
Beckett will be the keynote speaker at MPI’s European
Meetings & Events Conference (EMEC) March 5-7, 2017, in
Granada, Spain. “I’m getting into the inspirational aspects
of pitching—why it’s dif;icult, how you can make it a bit
easier and big things to look out for,” he says. There will
ence will have a chance to pitch and get feedback from the
For those who want more intensive instruction, Beckett
will also be running a breakout session at the conference
that will offer guidance on how to develop one-hour pitches and presentations.
“People will get some practical tools and tips on how
they can open their pitch and focus on the big issues, close
their pitches professionally and brainstorm a pitch to get
the story completely logical and straight,” he says. In this
master class, attendees will get a chance to practice pitching. “We will do peer-to-peer pitching and pitch to each
other,” he says.
Although Beckett’s professional focus is on coaching
entrepreneurs and corporate innovators, he believes similar pitching techniques apply to the meetings and events
“People think presentation and pitching is inspiration,”
he says. “It is a process. I give people the process by which
they can ;ind their story. It’s the nearest thing to a guaran-
tee you can make a good presentation. Ninety nine percent
of people, if they follow the steps I share in that workshop,
will make at a minimum a good presentation.”
The key, he says, is to combine both rational and
BY ELAINE POFELDT