I like to think that I’m a pitching aficionado. I’ve spent decades developing effective sales pitches for television, and now helping our successful clients hone their professional business pitches in my current role. But even I can get caught up in the words and forget how to truly captivate my audience…and it took a grade school principal to remind me of the vital ingredient that we often forget while delivering our well-rehearsed words.

I was touring a concept elementary school for grades K-5 in one of Tampa’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Following the tour, the principal came out to address our leadership group. After watching the principal interact with the prideful, eager children while we did our walking tour, and then listening to him deliver his impassioned presentation about their Community School concept and their aims to meet parents’ health and economic needs right where their children are educated, I was smacked with a simple reality. Duh.

The Why. Truly connecting with The Why is what solidifies your pitch. It’s what bakes the ingredients of a beautifully crafted oration and helps to deliver captivating perfection. Speaking from an internal space where you are truly connected with why you do what you do is what transforms a spoken pitch into rave-worthy execution.

The principal probably talked for about 10 minutes, I lost track; his absolute commitment to “his children and his families” (as he called them) oozing from his words. His school and his families were the very reason he got up every morning…it went without saying through his passionate, emotionally-charged dialogue. I looked around the room at the 50 members of my leadership group, and we all sat transfixed as we listened to him speak; a few of us wiping away tears, but not one person was disengaged or thoughtlessly looking at their phone. And I was inspired.

Connecting with The Why takes practice. It’s like rehearsing a theater role; you learn the words until you can recite them without looking, and then you dig deeper and find the character to back the words up. Your pitch isn’t ready for the Big Time until you have the words drilled into your memory so that you can connect the words to your soul.

Here’s a fun video that precisely demonstrates connecting the words to The Why and how doing so can completely transform your business pitch: