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Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time Hardcover – April 1, 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 179 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

McGowan is a veteran in the television business as reporter, writer, producer, and anchor for shows such as ABC News 20/20; CBS News 48 Hours, and Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel. In 2004, he founded Clarity Media Group, a communications coaching firm dedicated to enhancing the speaking skills of corporate executives, celebrities, and athletes. He has coached Jack Welch, Mary J. Blige, Eli Manning, Connie Chung, and more than 60 executives at Facebook, including Mark Zuckerberg. His training helps public speakers and interviewees overcome fear and avoid bad speaking habits, grab people’s attention, keep them engaged, and deliver a powerful message. He has distilled his training techniques down to seven principles that can be employed by anyone to get their communication skills into shape. Some of these include The Headline Principle (starting with your best material), The Pasta-Sauce Principle (boiling down your message), The Self-Conviction Principle, and The Curiosity Principle (displaying genuine interest in your subject). McGowan promises to reveal everything he knows about communication, including his most important advice, of putting his principles into practice in everyday situations. --David Siegfried

Review

With Bill McGowan’s book in front of you, your days of thinking “I wish I had said that” will be behind you. His peerless advice offers readers a real chance to be heard and to succeed. (Sheryl Sandberg)

“Bill McGowan has captured the indefinable human essence of his teaching on the written page. You are assured of learning more than you can imagine while enjoying Pitch Perfect.” (Wynton Marsalis, managing and artistic director, Jazz at Lincoln Center)

“[This] guidebook....is evenhanded and straightforward and brims with advice for anyone hoping to brush up on public speaking, effective presentation skills and interviewing prowess both within and outside of the contemporary workforce marketplace.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Success depends on having a great game plan. In Pitch Perfect, Bill McGowan provides just that-winning strategies for how to improve your communication skills, especially in life’s red-zone situations.” (Eli Manning, quarterback, New York Giants)

“In today’s world of micromessages and fleeting attention spans, connecting with your audience is more important than ever. Bill McGowan’s Pitch Perfect provides valuable and proven strategies for anyone looking to communicate effectively.” (Denise Morrison, president and CEO, Campbell Soup Company)

“Bill McGowan has identified a fresh and simple way for us to rethink how we communicate. His innovative strategies work not just in our professional lives but in everyday life as well. That’s why he’s an excellent teacher and why I always enjoy working with him.” (Daniel Ek, CEO, Spotify)

“Bill McGowan proves in Pitch Perfect what his clients already know-he is the premiere communications coach in business today. His insightful advice and strategies work.” (Thomas Keller, The French Laundry)

“You can learn to express yourself more effectively, handle difficult conversations gracefully and deliver a great presentation by following and practicing…McGowan packs the book with valuable examples of what was said versus what should have been said…Filled with smart, valuable advice, Pitch Perfect is a home run.” (Success)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; 1 edition (April 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062273221
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062273222
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #308,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By The Tao of Netflix VINE VOICE on January 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
i have really enjoyed reading this book. i consider myself a communications aficionado (not quite pro, or even seasoned amateur) and i take it very seriously. compared to numerous other books on communication, this book functions almost like a survey book on verbal communications, and addresses a range of issues - what is the right thing to say, how do you say it, how do you appear while you say it, how to you get the opportunity to say the right thing, and, importantly, how to be memorable. for each of these topics, the author provides a great story that illustrates the topic at work in a way that is relatable to my own experiences. the author also provides mini case study-like bits. for example, he'll provide someone's response to a question, and then state how he would have answered the question. i find it very helpful to see direct critiques of specific language, rather than mere platitudes on what is proper-speak.

do not make the mistake of assuming this book is solely for public speaking. it is not at all. clearly public speakers will benefit, but the lessons are equally applicable to the boardroom, your boss's office, and even the bedroom. anyone who verbally communicates with other people can gain from the book.

to the obligatory negatives:
- there's a not insignificant amount of fluff and filler text. my version is about 260 pages - it could have easily been trimmed to under 200 probably without sacrificing the author's great writing flair.
- this is a survey-style book, not a deep dive on any of the topics. to be fair, if it were a deep dive on all topics raised, the book would be thick as a dictionary (for those who remember what a printed dictionary looks like). this is not a negative at all actually, just be aware of what you're getting...
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was actually eager to read this book. I thought it would be worth my time. Five pages in and I realized something was very wrong here. I kept pressing ahead and found out the entire book is without any merit. If you get something out of this book, I would be amazed.

There is so much I disliked about this book that I don't know where to start. The entire tone of the book is terrible. The author drops name after name after name. I could care less about these people, and it is a joke as to what name he comes up with next. It is so distracting that you lose sight of whatever point he was trying to make. If there was a point. Maybe the point was that if he dropped a lot of famous names, you would be impressed and buy his services. Yes, this book is just a way to advertise his consulting services. I don't have anything against that, but I think if you understand that going in, then the self-important tone of the book is more understandable.

He gives advice that he doesn't follow himself. In fact in some chapters he is doing the exact thing he is telling the reader to never do. How can you take the content of the book seriously when the author doesn't believe in it himself? For example, the book is much longer than it needs to be. Why? Because he first tells you all of the things he's going to write about. Then he writes about them, then later on he repeats it again in case you missed the times he already wrote about it. It is truly annoying when writers repeat themselves. A speaker is allowed to repeat material, but it is a terrible writing style to use.

In case it is not obvious as you slog through it, the book is not actually about pitching a product, but rather how to present yourself to an audience for a canned speech.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Bill McGowan is on a mission, he wants you to be able to communicate more effectively. Not in emails, but in your speech.

Don't think this book is only for you if you're in sales. Throughout our work and home lives, we encounter times when this ability will make us more persuasive or make our points remembered better.

Think it still is't for you? Have you ever given a presentation, been in a meeting, or interviewed for a job? Then you've made pitches and this book will help you; it's packed full of advice.

McGowan distills his ideas to seven principles leading to effective communication. Each has a chapter describing it, telling you how to use it, and giving you examples and pointers. These make up the heart of the book. While I sometimes felt that the analogy between the name and the idea were a bit tenuous, the principles are great.

After these chapters there are two chapters that deal with using the principles in specific situations at work and at home. The home chapter is fantastic. Having been to too many weddings with painful toasts, I'd copy that and hand it out to everyone I know who's marrying.

I cant say the same for the work chapter. It's far too long and seems to have packed too many diverse situations into on place. It would have been better served if more thought had been pout into how to break up and organize this excellent information. As it is people will read it and not be able to find the needed information later.

That chapter is typical of my big problem with the book -- it is unevenly written. Some chapters are concise, clear, and focused. Others are pedantic, dull, and lack focus. The work chapter is one of these. They mar an otherwise very useful book.
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