人生就是無止境的Pitch

與廣告人聊天,總是會聞Pitch色變。

Pitch者,比稿是也,意即廣告客戶廣發英雄帖,邀請各路英雄,進行比武招親,於是乎,每家每戶被邀請的廣告公司,都要施展渾身解數,誓要於一時半刻內,把精彩創意、策略,還有最重要的收費價目表,向廣告客戶一一賣力游說,成功者,就能贏得客戶歸。

當然,但凡去馬出Pitch,每每只有一人歡喜多人愁,因為結果沒分冠亞季,最後贏家只有一個,其餘的,只可下回繼續努力。

但你試想一下,人生又何嘗不是一場接一場的Pitch?由考試、升學、求偶、求職,每個人生階段,你都要經歷無數的Pitch。

我經常與同事說,不要隨隨便便去和客戶開會,每次見面,你都要視之為一趟Pitch。

提案(present)與比稿的心態,其實很不一樣,若客戶會面,有些朋友常以為純粹溝通完就算,卻忽略了要把一個重要想法/建議,賣給/游說對方這目的。

到頭來,開會或什麼腦震盪的見面,純屬吹水,於是乎,白白浪費了彼此的時間。

較早前,HKAIM為多家設計學院學生們舉辦了一系列的培訓課程,我應邀作為提案技巧(Presentation Skill)一節的講師。

雖然我在提案方面身經百戰,創意被殺當飯吃,但對於這方面題目的授課知識,我卻自問是門外漢,要我講三個小時課,說易行難。

本來不想誤人子弟,打算捥拒就算,但我心想,好歹就把這次的課堂,視為我向學生們Pitch的個人考驗吧,想多了半小時,決定去馬是也。

最後,我也索性把這堂課命名為Deliver Your Perfect Pitch,希望能較有系統地,與大家分享一下我的Pitch的心得吧。

接近三個小時內,中途無休息時間,我由兩分鐘的Elevator Pitch,講到如何準備二十至三十分鐘的還原基本Pitch,部份同學們也算聽得津津有味,十分專心。

香港教育制度下,向來不重視提案技巧,不用説莘莘學子了,就連出了來社會工作的朋友,都對presentation這回事十分犬儒,認為此乃老外的「吹水」作風,有實力之人,毋須靠此技倆,有麝自然香。

對於「吹水」之說,我向來都覺得,絕對就是loser talk ,廢人講廢話。

要知道,就算你的想法多精彩,若果你不能自我表達,其實也是徒然。Pitch也是一門學問,有識之士,絕對不應抗拒。

大家有所不知,我是家中五個姐姐下面的老幼,自小其實沉默寡言,我表面上毫不害羞的提案演出,背後,其實只是每天厚著面皮累積回來的成果。所以,既然連我都可以,我覺得大家都可以哦。

雖然你沒有上我的課,我還是破例把當天的講義放了上網,希望和大家分享一下,大家也可給我一點意見,希望我下次講課,也能夠有所進步。

最後,希望大家謹記:「人生就是無止境的Pitch。」

想追蹤更多我所分享的廣告情報?歡迎點擊這裡加入我的facebook紛絲頁。

同學們,請不要太早被磨平。

上星期到浸會大學替主修PR & Advertising的同學們每年一度的提案比賽擔任評判,今年的假設客戶是Blah Blah Bra(這客戶當天也在場),同學們分為四組,每組都要施展出渾身解數,好像一間廣告公司般向評判們提案。

每組的提案都很認真,由意念構思、活動策劃、媒體建議,以至廣告及公關上的執行,都一一網羅其中,十分完整,不,部份組別,我更可以用「極之工整,近乎專業」來形容,其中有幾位同學,提案的能力,更比我見過不少在職的同事來得成熟。

但到最後,與評判們討論那組勝出時,我有少許不同的意見。

既然有好的構思,當然同學們都希望有機會能落實執行,客戶願意「買橋」,讓廣告有機會「見光」。因此,評分中有一個「可行性」的項目,依我看來,學校用心良苦,希望學生盡快有能力和勞動市場接軌。

這做法並無任何不妥,但我只覺得,求學階段應該鼓勵同學們有多點天馬行空或甚至是無謂的想法,強調啟發性,而無需處處過份顧慮過多的所謂「實際情況」。

說真的,我實在很怕見到太早被社會磨平的年輕人,因為當有天你要供樓、結婚、生仔的時候,你會很自然地被迫磨平,急來幹什麼?

各位同學仔,加把勁,信自己。

各位同學仔,多謝你們過去九個星期的星期六,晨咁早專登來上我的課。

早到的、遲到的,總之是有來上課的,我都覺得很高興,因為我明白,你們平時一星期已上足五天課,星期六晨早來上這課,絕對要多一份的毅力和堅持。

明天會怎麼樣,無人可以為你保證。你們在學校所學到的,將來也未必能學以致用,但我希望,在畢業之前,你們能夠好好珍惜在學校的每一天、好好珍惜身邊的同學、好好珍惜在學校的學習機會。

因為,陽光燦爛的日子,九成都不會長久。

最後,我想點歌。

以下這首歌,送給你們,好好咀嚼當中每句說話。聽不明的話,看看我下面附錄的英文歌詞。英文看不懂,查字典、問人也要,直至完全明白為止。學好英文,好重要。英文不好,給你拿個MBA也沒用。

不用擔心,這段字,考試不會考。

但看懂後,希望你們,都會明白我的心意。

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
than my own meandering experience…

I will dispense this advice now. Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.

But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before
you and how fabulous you really looked….

You’re not as fat as you imagine. Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing
bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you Sing Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements. Stretch Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone. Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…what ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own..

Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room. Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them. Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you should hold on.

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young. Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel. Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders. Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out. Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you’re 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth. But trust me on the sunscreen…

無執輸 去教書

昨天黃昏,下著滂沱大雨之際,終於開課了。

這是一個Major in Advertising/Marketing & Communication的Part-time Degree Program,由HKU Space和澳洲Curtin大學合辦,我負責教的,是Brand Management這科目。

平時出外演說也文也武,自由發揮,今回為人師表,於是便認真起來,認真得超乎平日的我。

由備課到準備Powerpoint教材,單是第一堂,便花了我好幾個工作天的時間。畢竟,學術課堂和客席演說,絕對是兩回事。更何況,據說Curtin大學那邊的Professor出名認真,我在這邊廂代表港隊,當然更不敢怠慢。

同學們都是下了班趕著來上課的,都是有心學習的一群,所以,上課時都算是頗留心的。

但真希望他們能夠多點發言和一起討論就是了,讀這一科,單靠理論是不行的,話明是 communication,勇於和人家communicate,才是必修的第一課。