Pitching a product

In this resource, students will be studying two extracts of very different sales pitches from the BBC show The Apprentice. Contestants on The Apprentice had to design an app for a smartphone and then pitch it to an audience at a technology fair. The pitches are printed in the handout that can be downloaded and printed at the bottom of this page.

To help students analyse the extracts, ask them the following questions, which are also included in the handout:

Can you see any features of spontaneous talk being used in either extract?

  • Some examples include: pauses, run-on sentences, first person pronouns (I, we) to refer to the speaker, second person pronouns (you) to refer to the audience, short sentences

How do the speakers address their audiences?

  • They use the second person pronoun you but also the informal guys.

How do speakers use deixis? Do they refer to people or things that are present in any particular way?

  • There is a reference to him in the second pitch, which isn't so clear in a transcript, but is more clear for the audience, who are present and can see him.

Are there any ways in which one extract is more formal than the other?

  • Guys is an informal mode of address in the second extract. The second extract also includes run-on sentences and sentence fragments, unlike the first.

Additional questions include:

  1. Is there any evidence that planning has been carried out in advance?
  2. Can you see any uses of grammatical patternings?

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