Writing pitches - sentences

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choosing game

writing is choosing

choosing words and their position,along a path to a specific message

the same words in different positions create different messages

the chronological nature of written texts force a single path

building blocks

objects nouns

actions verbs

causal links

sequence links

simple sentence: main clause

noun phraseverbnoun phrase


noun phraseverbquality


noun phrase

front commentcentral nounend comment

incrementalinnovationin production

nounnounkey noun



Business model innovation can open up new market opportunities.NP + verb + NP

The lack of new products in the pipeline is greatly worrying. NP + verb + quality

adding to the main clause

front positionmain clauseend position

In many industries,patent wars are wagedto safeguard market share.

context: time, location, conditions, means, aimmain informationcomment: aim, outcome, condition

function of sentence parts

the main action or information goes in the main clause

the starting part sets the scene or context

the comment part qualifies the main action

the comment part can serve as a hinge to the next sentence

different front positions

same content, different focus

In some industries, patent wars are waged to safeguard market share.

To safeguard market share, patent wars are waged in some industries.

old & new

as a rule, old or known information goes in front position

new information goes in end position

Apple introduces the new iPhone.

Innovation is marked by high failure rates.

exploiting front position

when new information is put in front position, it gets extra emphasis

The iPod was the start of Apple's success.

context information in front position provides a framework for interpretation

In these harsh conditions, 3M succeeded...

In 1952, IBM launched... In 2013, IBM launched...

end weight

long parts typically go in end position

Sales increased as a direct result of the appointment of Eleanor Gleeson as CEO of the heavy-hit oil giant.

end weight

starting with the long part is possible, when it takes up a notion mentioned in the previous sentence

The board of StatenOil took swift action to look for a new leader. As a direct result of the appointment of Eleanor Gleeson as CEO of the heavy-hit oil giant, sales increased. Stock markets reacted positively and...

end weight

leaving the most important element to the end gives it extra emphasis

The increase in R&D has yielded a profit hike of 13%.

The increase in R&D has yielded a 13% profit hike.

category terms

a category term covers a series of elements

staff, raw materials, fundsresourcesissuing bonds, borrowingdebt financingrun-to-market, niche focusstrategy

as such they are useful for topic sentences

unnecessary complexity

R&D expenditure has decreased in the industry, which has led to lower patent numbers filed to both US and European authorities, while Asian patent numbers are stable to increasing on the back of increasing Chinese and Indian R&D expenditure, illustrating the more globalized innovation ecosystem.

What is the main message here?the main clause is followed by a cascade of six extra clauses

rewritten bottom-up

As R&D expenditure has decreased in the industry, fewer patents have been filed to both US and European authorities. This trend contrasts starkly with the situation in Asia, where increasing R&D expenditure in India and China translates into steady to increasing patent applications, illustrating how the innovation ecosystem is becoming more globalized.

different main clause; more signposting; bottom-up conclusion at the end

rewritten top-down

The innovation ecosystem is becoming more globalized, as is illustrated by the number of patent applications in our industry. In the US, decreasing R&D expenditure translates into fewer applications, whereas Asian applications remain stable or increase thanks to increases in R&D expenditure in India and China.

different main clause; more signposting;top down conclusion at the start

unnecessary wordiness

this is due to the fact that...=because

the increased utilization=use more

formal writing is dense as it issimpler is better

Writing pitches is part of a two-day workshop on Innovation Communication, which includes key communication events such as:

conducting brainstorm sessions & follow-upgiving briefingssteering project meetingspitching for resourcespersuasive Q&A sessionswriting a project plan

More information on the workshop programme

More slideshows on TalkTheFloor@slideshare

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