If you are starting a new venture, you will inevitably find that you will have to pitch that project to someone who can help you realize it. This could be a potential funder, a partner, or a mentor. The interesting thing about this is that pitching in the wrong way can damage that relationship for a long time or end the relationship before it's begun. Below are some of my pet peeves.
Interrupting to pitch- No matter how anxious you are, the last thing you want to do is stop someone in the middle of their thought to tell them about why they should work on your project. If you are at a dinner or at an event and you'd really like to pitch the person there, please let them finish their thought before you break into why they should work with you. Interrupting is rude to begin with and second, it makes it so that the other party is only half-listening. If anything, wait until they are at a stopping point. Ask them about an interest pertaining to what they just discussed and ask if they are open to hearing about your project. You'd be amazed at how effective asking for permission can be.
Telling the person what to think- Of course your project and your team are going to be considered the best by you, but I'm not sure what that is supposed to do in terms of getting the other person to be on board. If you want buy in, it's important to establish whether there is even a need. Ask questions about what the other person is looking for or interested in. If it seems like what you have to offer may be a good fit, don't tell them it's a good fit yourself. Ask them if they would be interested in hearing more. Let the other person make the decision since it will be their time, connections, or money on the line. You need something from them, so find out what they need first.
Abusing social situations- I once hosted a reading where someone who was attending, pitched the host of the reading on investing in another project. The person hosting barely even looked at the packet that was being given to him. You will find times when you get a to attend a dinner, cocktail party, or an excursion with someone who can be helpful to you. Use that time to get to know them as a person and set a later time to talk about your project. There are many who love to try and sneak that ask in during a social situation, but personally, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
So there you have it. When you pitch don't interrupt, be clear as to the need, and time it wisely. You'll be much more likely to find that people will want to play ball if you pitch well.
P.S.- I have decided to host some group consulting sessions. You can read more HERE. Limited seats. Thanks!