Screenwriting Blog
Posted on by Courtney Meznarich

How to Crush Your Pitch Meeting, Whether You Sell Your Script Or Not

“As far as pitch meetings, a perfect meeting is one that ends in a handshake and an agreement to buy something,” screenwriter and journalist Bryan Young began. “But that doesn’t always happen.”

If you’ve landed a pitch meeting, congratulations! That is already a major score. Now, you need to know the steps to take to ensure you take full advantage of this opportunity and nail your pitch. And, surprisingly, that may not mean that you walk away having sold something.

We asked Young what he considers a perfect pitch meeting, and his words were encouraging. If you don’t sell your script, all is not lost.

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“Really, a perfect meeting is one where you can actually develop a rapport with the people that you’re with and have them get a genuine sense of who you are and how easy you might be to work with,” Bryan said.

Really, a perfect meeting is one where you can actually develop a rapport with the people that you’re with and have them get a genuine sense of who you are and how easy you might be to work with.
Bryan Young
Screenwriter & Journalist

While a script sale is not entirely in your control, no matter how great your pitch, there are some simple steps you can take for better odds:

Prepare and Practice Your Pitch

You should not walk into this critical meeting in your screenwriting career unprepared. To get your pitch “pitch-perfect,” use these pitching tips from screenwriter, coach, and teacher Donald H. Hewitt.

Be on Time

I was taught from a young age that if you’re early, you’re on time; if you’re on time, then you’re late; and if you’re late, well, then forget about it. It’s not about being punctual for the sake of punctuality but respecting the other person with whom you’re meeting. Pre-COVID, I would tell you to leave your house early enough to account for the worst possible traffic you’ve ever seen. You do not want to be late or feel rushed, and there’s no harm in being early. But now, in this era of virtual pitches via Zoom conference, I would advise that you make sure you have all your tech set up ahead of time and test it. Then, test it again. Check your lighting, sound, and use headphones and a mic to prevent background noise from distracting from your pitch.

Do your research

Know who you’re meeting with, what other projects they’ve been part of, and have a few small talk questions to ask if the conversation gets awkward or silent. It always makes someone feel good if you know a little bit (not a stalker amount) about them.

Say Thank You

A concise follow-up email or hand-written note is always an excellent way to show that you are grateful for someone’s time—no need to wax poetically here.

Let Your Passion Come Through

“You really, really, really want to give people the impression that you’re enthusiastic and excited about whatever project it is that you’re pitching and that you’re the only person that has the passion to see it through,” Bryan added. “And if they can see that in your personality, even if they don’t buy it right then and there, even if they don’t buy it at all, you’ve won in that meeting because they will remember that passion and excitement the next time they have you for a meeting.”

If you’ve made it to this blog, I know you’ve got the passion thing down.

Now, just let that light shine through,

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