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Perfecting Your Pitch: How to Succeed in Business and in Life by Finding Words That Work Hardcover – November 29, 2013

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Perfecting Your Pitch: How to Succeed in Business and in Life by Finding Words That Work + Dare to Prepare: How to Win Before You Begin + The Power of Nice: How to Negotiate So Everyone Wins - Especially You!
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Hudson Street Press (November 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594632014
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594632013
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #431,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Perfecting Your Pitch is filled with powerful insights about effective communication for leaders, parents, friends, spouses, managers, and consumers. Ron Shapiro, a world-renowned negotiation expert, sports agent, and lawyer, shares rich examples and practical wisdom accumulated through decades of experience. The book takes readers behind the scenes of major sports deals, business negotiations, and family challenges, revealing how Shapiro has achieved extraordinary success and helped others follow in his footsteps—all while maintaining impeccable integrity.”
— Adam Grant, Wharton professor and bestselling author of Give and Take
“Advice from Ron Shapiro is money in the bank. If you want to learn how to deal with life and business communication challenges, then perfecting your pitch is a must read.”
— Ann Curry, NBC News National and International Correspondent and Anchor at Large
"Perfecting Your Pitch covers a staggering array of life situations, from salary negotiations to personal relationships, in which a wrong word or an inept phrase could mean the difference between success and failure. Sometimes you only get one chance to ask for what you want or express how you feel –  and this book is the perfect guide to help you make the most of those opportunities.”
—Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell is Human and Drive
"Effective, strategic communication is important for success in everything we do.  Ron Shapiro is a proven negotiator and renowned communicator, who provides practical advice on how to build individual confidence and deliver hard messages with skill, forcefulness, and empathy.  His easily adaptable approach and practical lessons in this great book will help anyone communicate better and more effectively in every walk of life.”
—John Harbaugh, Head Coach of the SuperBowl XLVII Champion Baltimore Ravens 
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Cofounder of the Shapiro Negotiations Institute, RONALD M. SHAPIRO has negotiated more than $1 billion in contracts. His techniques have helped resolve a national symphony orchestra strike, facilitate solutions to human relations problems, and reconcile disputes in the government and corporate world. His bestselling books include The Power of Nice and Dare to Prepare.

JEFF BARKER is a Baltimore Sun sports reporter. He has covered news, politics and sports for The Sun, Arizona Republic and AP and has appeared on PBS, CNN, ESPN and other networks. He lives with his wife and daughter in Silver Spring, Maryland.

More About the Author

Expert Negotiator, Sports Agent, Attorney, Educator, New York Times Bestselling Author, and Civic Leader, Ron Shapiro attended Haverford College and graduated Cum Laude from Harvard Law School in 1967. After moving to Baltimore in 1967 for a federal clerkship, he began teaching law school in 1968. From 1972 to 1974 Mr. Shapiro served as Maryland State Securities Commissioner and earned a reputation as one of the most effective state investment officials in the nation. In 1972 he founded what is now known as Shapiro Sher Guinot & Sandler, a prominent Baltimore law firm. Subsequently, in 1976 Mr. Shapiro founded Shapiro, Robinson & Associates, a sports management firm that developed a national reputation through its holistic approach to contract negotiation, sound financial management, and commitment to community involvement on the part of its clients. In 1995 he founded Shapiro Negotiations Institute, a sales, negotiation, and influence training and consulting firm that has trained over 350,000 professionals in the art of negotiation, dealing with difficult personalities, and enhancing preparation and listening skills. In addition, he is the Founder and Creator of an annual business conference, the Butler Conference of Leaders, which brings together over 100 CEOs, and other business, professional and non-profit leaders to address economic, investment, philanthropic and social issues, and to network.

USA TODAY called Ron Shapiro "one of baseball's most respected agent-attorneys," and THE SPORTING NEWS named him one of the "100 most powerful people in sports." His impressive list of clients includes more Hall of Famers than any other agent, including Cal Ripken, Jr., Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, Kirby Puckett, and Eddie Murray, and 2009 AL MVP, Joe Mauer, who have benefited from the more than one billion dollars in contracts that Mr. Shapiro has negotiated. In addition, Mr. Shapiro is the Special Advisor to the owner of the NFL Baltimore Ravens and to the General Managers of the NBA San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Mr. Shapiro's book, THE POWER OF NICE: HOW TO NEGOTIATE SO EVERYONE WINS - ESPECIALLY YOU!, was excerpted in FORTUNE MAGAZINE and named one of the "Top Ten 'On the Job' Business Books of the Year" by the LIBRARY JOURNAL. His second book, BULLIES, TYRANTS & IMPOSSIBLE PEOPLE: HOW TO BEAT THEM WITHOUT JOINING THEM, made the Wall Street Journal's Best Seller List. His third book, DARE TO PREPARE: HOW TO WIN BEFORE YOU BEGIN, made the New York Times, Business Week and the Wall Street Journal's Best Seller Lists, was named the winner in two categories in the National Best Books 2008 Awards by USA Book News, and was named Gold medal winner of the Success & Motivation category of the 2009 Axiom Business Book Awards. Mr. Shapiro's fourth book, PERFECTING YOUR PITCH: HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS AND IN LIFE BY FINDING WORDS THAT WORK was released in November, 2013.

Mr. Shapiro also authored more than 20 law journal articles, co-authored books on corporate and securities law, founded Maryland's major bar review course, and began a legal publishing company. He taught at the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland School of Law, the University of Baltimore School of Law where he was honored for teaching excellence, spoke in the Harvard Law School Traphagen Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series where he was honored for his "multifaceted and fascinating career" and was named the 1996 Edward B. Shils Lecturer in Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. A charismatic and creative individual, Ron Shapiro appeared as a negotiations expert on ABC's "Good Morning America," CNBC's "Power Lunch," Mutual Radio's "The Larry King Show," National Public Radio's "Morning Edition," and "Talk of the Nation," ABC's "Nightline," and ESPN's "Mike and Mike in the Morning," and "Up Close." Mr. Shapiro hosted a weekly talk show, "Front Page," and "Special Edition," a series of prime time specials, both on NBC Baltimore affiliates. In addition, he also appeared as a panelist on "Square Off" on CBS's Baltimore affiliate.

Committed to public and civic matters, Mr. Shapiro has chaired over 25 boards of charitable and community organizations, including PeacePlayers International, the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, the Baltimore Jewish Community Relations Council, St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center, Partnership for Homecoming Campaign, the University of Maryland Cancer Center Advisory Board, and the Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust, as well as serving on numerous others. He was also Treasurer and Finance Chairman for former Baltimore Mayor, Kurt Schmoke.

Mr. Shapiro has received numerous special honors and recognition including, among others: the Chimes Hall of Fame for contributions and community service; the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame Mel Allen Service Award for distinguished public service; the Cheltenham High School Hall of Fame in recognition of outstanding personal and career achievements; The Forman Award, as a superior Haverford College Athlete who has devoted himself to the betterment of society; Maryland Marketing Statesman of the Year; the City of Baltimore Citizen Citation for assistance and special contributions to the public schools and the citizens of Baltimore; the Children's Guild Award for "Making the Impossible - Possible"; and the American Law & Jurisprudence Award in recognition of his many years of outstanding leadership and excellence in the practice of law awarded by Chabad at Johns Hopkins. The Ronald M. Shapiro Research Award and Lecture was established in recognition of Mr. Shapiro's service at the Greenebaum Cancer Center of the University of Maryland and Stevenson University awarded Mr. Shapiro the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. SmartCEO Magazine recognized Mr. Shapiro as one of the "Twenty Most Admired Leaders" in May 2006. He has also been named "one of Maryland's Super Lawyers," has been featured in The Best Lawyers in America for 18 consecutive years, is a recipient of "The Daily Record's 2010 Leadership in Law Award", and was named "Sports Law Lawyer of the Year" in the 2012 edition of Baltimore's Best Lawyers®.

In 2013, Mr. Shapiro was the recipient of The American Red Cross Lifetime Achievement Award which recognizes an individual whose philanthropic contributions, whether they be time, talent, or treasure, span a lifetime; inducted into the Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame, which celebrates Jewish Baltimoreans who have made a difference in the field of medicine, science, politics, law, education, business, community service, arts and entertainment, and beyond; and named as a member of "The Champions: Pioneers and Innovators in Sports Business" by SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily, which recognizes his distinct and sustainable impact on the sports industry, his record of achievement, and for being a mentor and leader to so many throughout the world.

Mr. Shapiro's dispute resolution techniques have settled a major symphony orchestra strike, facilitated solutions to human relations problems, and resolved disputes in governmental, corporate, and major biotechnology challenges. Mr. Shapiro has negotiated on behalf of, or served as deal coach to, Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, as well as entertainment and news personalities. Ron Shapiro is frequently cited by parties representing each side in a negotiation as the ultimate "Win-Win" negotiator.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Most of us don't negotiate multi-million dollar sports deals. Many never negotiate high end business deals. But in our lives, be it a presentation or a family member or friend, the right words matter.
The author goes into detail not just on principles but examples of how those principles can and have been used. It's a systematic way to organize thoughts, stick to facts, be positive and negotiate better. It won't always get the result we want,but is empowering to stand up for what we want.

In full disclosure, I had a reading copy on NetGalley, but there is enough information in there it'd be a good book for someone going off to college, or even in high school, as well as those seeking to improve their communication skills. We don't often get what we deserve - we get what we negotiate.This book can help in that negotiation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susan Alexander on May 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Author Ron Shapiro is an astonishingly successful sports agent-lawyer who's a master at negotiating to get what his clients (e.g., Cal Ripken Jr.) want. Here he outlines a simple technique that anyone can use to achieve the outcome he/she wants. How? By following "the three Ds"--Draft, Devil's Advocate, and Deliver--that Shapiro describes in clear, readable prose.

Drafting a "script" is key. Shapiro offers examples as far back as John Adams to demonstrate how sitting down and writing a script before you do anything else is the key to success. Instead of "winging it," I've used this approach myself to achieve successful results. I commend Shapiro's book to anyone who wants to learn the best way to get what you want, whether in business or in any other pursuit.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Chopstein on February 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Motivational and practical wisdom and storytelling which illustrate how to embrace and use it - very helpful to anyone working to understand and improve their ability to communicate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn Singh on January 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I received this as a gift for Christmas and wasn’t sure from the title just exactly what I would be getting from this book, but reading it really empowered me to deal with some present challenging conversations at work and one family matter. I feel I now have a system for dealing with stressful discussions in the future.
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