My First Writers Conference Part 3: Pitch Slam Pointers

Post 26 of 31
Having survived my first Pitch Slam I have learned, firsthand, some valuable tips which I shall now impart here.

1.Do not be tempted by the free lunch/panel/etc etc. that happens directly before your scheduled Pitch Slam. Skip these, and go wait in line outside the Pitch Slam room early. Granted, waiting in line is generally no fun, but you’ll be in line with other interesting writers and interesting conversations and opportunities to practice your pitch will invariably crop up to pass the time. Which brings me to tip #2…

2. Practice, practice, practice! The more you practice your pitch on those around you, the easier it will become. Remember how I mentioned being so nervous the first time I said my pitch aloud to my tablemates at the beginning of the conference? Well, with each person I repeated my pitch to, it got easier and less nerve-wracking. In total, I shared my pitch with about 8 or 9 different people. By the time I got into the Pitch Slam room, I wasn’t even nervous, but feeling fully confident about my ability to deliver my story in a clear, enthusiastic way.

3. Do not go to your bottom-of-the-list agent first because you want to “practice” and get your nerves out. You only have a limited amount of time to see a limited amount of agents. Go for the ones you really want to impress, go for the ones whose feedback you crave.

4. Relax and have fun. Yes, this sounds very cliché, but guess what? You can choose to be a nervous wreck, who pins your entire future career as a writer on this one moment, or you can chill out and just go for a ride. Agents are people too, and they’re just as excited to meet a potential new client as you are excited to meet a potential new agent. And if it doesn’t go your way the first time, it’s not the end of the world. It just means more work needs to be done. At one of the panels I attended, writer Chuck Wendig advised us to “care less”. That may sound callous, but it’s actually good advice. You can’t let these things affect you personally. As writers, it’s sometimes hard to separate yourself from your work, but you’ll be more sane if you do.

To be continued…

This article was written by Tania