Practice your pitch with your pet

I absolutely loved Marcia Yudkin's Marketing Minute newsletter this week. I'm featuring it below with credit and my suggestions for you in purple. And I'll add that it might just work on your other pets as well. Doesn't it look like “Penny” here  is just waiting for you to talk?Habets


** The Marketing Minute **
brought to you every Wednesday by Marcia Yudkin
Marketing Consultant, Author, Speaker


One town over from mine, schoolchildren can sign up to read to a dog.

No kidding! The trained dog listens attentively, and its non-judgmental attitude improves young readers' confidence as they sound out words and narrate the story on the page.

This suggests some great variations on practice methods I have advocated for marketers.

* Stating your fee. Many people noticeably stumble or hold back when asked what something will cost. Tell your dog how much you charge, again and again, until both you and the dog believe it. (Since pricing seems to be a major stumbling block for most artists, why not try it out on your pet first?)

* Practicing speeches. Got a keynote coming up? Delivering it to your dog may prepare you better than practicing to the mirror or an empty room. Ditto for your 30-second networking self-introduction. (Well, you know that I think your networking intro should be under 10 seconds, so see if you can hold your pet's interest for that long.)

* Putting life into your voice. Curing a monotone requires conscious and even crazy vocal contortions before settling into a naturally livelier speaking pattern. Entertain a dog – or an infant – with your voice exercises. (This is great. Of course I never talk to my cats!)

* Preparing cold calls. Have fun telling the dog what you'll say when that stranger answers the telephone. The playful spirit can energize your pitch when you make it for real.

Image (c) Peggi Habets, Penny.

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5 thoughts on “Practice your pitch with your pet”

  1. I actually did this when asked to give a lecture to a quilt guild. I knew that something that sounds good on the page may not come across as well when spoken. Plus I needed to time it. Ok, dog, here we go; and I “performed” my speech complete with hand gestures. The dog looked at me like, what the heck are you doing? After a bit, she started looking worried (is mom going round the bend?) Fortunately, the group I spoke before showed less puzzlement and alarm. I have to agree, though, this idea of trying stuff out in front of a pet is a good one.

  2. I agree too Alyson! Thank you for elaborating on a already great idea. I have my first presentation coming up in November and I plan on practicing in front of my dogs. Fortunately for me my one dog will be going with me to the presentation so I think this will help me even more. How lucky am I?!!? Animals, especially dogs are always put me at ease, so I feel fortunate to bring my little dog with me.

  3. Alyson B. Stanfield

    Sheila, Barb & Helen: Thanks for sharing your pet-talking experiences. Glad to know about my fellow “crazies” out there. 🙂

  4. Alyson: Great post and I love the picture of Penny. I actually have done this countless of times when preparing for a presentation or speech. When I was teaching at the University I would practice my course outline on my dogs. They always loved it and were more appreciative than my students, well lets just say they never fell asleep during my overviews. Great post and fun ideas. Thanks so much for sharing. Rachelle

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