Mark Simon talks about how he brings principles of Tae Kwon Do to pitching shows.
Last week was the national Tae Kwon Do competition in Lakeland, Florida. I mention this because over the last three years I’ve won forms twice and came in second once. I love the event and I love competing. But, we’ve had a huge amount of production this past year and I haven’t had much time to practice. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t thinking about the competition, though, or how the discipline I use relates to everything else I do creatively.
The approach I use to compete in forms is the same approach I use when I pitch a TV show: I tell a story.
Almost every other competitor, once introduced, goes through the same boring process of telling who they are and where they’re from according to the guidelines they believe they need to follow. Not me. I don’t worry about the details and the rules; I want my appearance and my performance to be memorable.
The moment they call my name, I’m in character. I make sure everyone in the facility knows I’m in the ring. I don’t just speak loudly, I make a pronouncement.
“It’s GLORIOUS day to compete, Grandmaster,” I boldly claim to the center judge of the five judges. If I know something personal about one or more of the judges – maybe where they’re from, or if I’ve competed before them previously – I may use that in reference to more instantly connect with them.
When I go through my forms, I am not just going through the motions; I am actually recreating a specific fight in my mind, both visually and emotionally. I SEE the opponent in front of me. I attack and defend with full force, acting out every move.
I do the same thing when I pitch. I weave a story I care about. I often get emotional when I pitch. I am performing and I will keep your attention, whether it’s in front of one person or in front of hundreds of people.
In a TKD competition the audience experiences the fight like the story of the fight I am playing out in my mind. I don’t have to think about it because I have trained so much and gone over the routine so many times in my head beforehand, it’s just a second nature to me once the competition begins.
In pitches I have developed the show so much and gone over every detail so meticulously that when the time for a pitch comes, I know it inside and out and can respond instantly to every question about it, just like blocking an attack move with the perfectly visualized defense.
I teach my TKD students how to tell a story with their forms just like I teach our clients how to pitch with a story (but with less hitting and kicking, of course). The amount of discipline and energy is the same.
“It’s a GLORIOUS day to pitch!” Isn’t it?
Mark Simon, is the co-founder of SellYourTvConceptNow.com. Download his FREE REPORT on the 7 biggest show-pitch mistakes at www.SellYourTvConceptNow.com. He is a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is a 3-time Tae Kwon Do National Champion.