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Pitch How Film Composer Makes Maximum Impact

Silent film pianist and visiting professor at the Royal College of Music Neil Brand plays intriguing sales chords.

After tinkling a semi-stock phrase proving his mettle on-the-spot to evoke the iconic scene ‘the realisation that the person in front of you is the person with whom you’ve fallen in love’, he commented;

“It’s an odd thing. If you want to make a big impact, you get quieter. Because people draw in towards the screen. It took me a long time to learn that. I was “too many notes, Mozart!” for twenty years.”

This counter-thinking is so true. I often hear salespeople rushing a crashing crescendo drum roll when revealing their major key, only for it to fall flat, way short of the desired symphonic target ears’ reaction.

I’m reminded of a rare time watching the Oscars unfold. When announcing best film, Clint Eastwood said American Beauty in such a slow, quiet, understated way. Impact certainly amplified.

Less gameshow host, more measured drama.

Later, he revealed that his composing stepped up a vital level only when he became open to what it really feels like to be whichever actual emotion concerned. He cited being jealous or alone as examples.

Again, this is a regular failing of sellers. When the yeah-yeah lip-service to understanding being in the shoes of the potential buyer is not seriously meant.

Finally, he mentioned that every year there are 1200 new concert pianists going out in to the world. A bewilderingly high amount. His quoted point was that;

“it’s not enough to be perfect any more, you have to have personality”

I tell sellers this more often than I’d like.


During this ambling BBC ninety-minute magazine show, Neil’s slots are for a dozen minutes from around 37’50”, three-ish minutes from 57’30 and a spot at the end, from about 1h22’30”.

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Category: quirky

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