The Pitch Coach
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The Pitch Coach

6 steps to name, shame and re-frame our gremlins.

GR Stocks on Unsplash

In the Second World War, RAF pilots found their planes kept going wrong. There was no obvious culprit — it was like there were invisible creatures who went about sabotaging their planes. They called these invisible creatures gremlins. When it comes to storytelling, we suffer from exactly the same problem: our strong inner narratives, that say things like ‘Why are you speaking? You don’t know anything… Nobody likes you… Your voice sounds annoying… Just hurry up… you are boring.’ I believe if we tackle these fears and lies head on, it could transform how we present.

Name your gremlin

Make it a funny quirky name. Mine is called Ken. On “Sully and Stew” we had Rozelda, Barry … The list goes on. But make it a name that you can laugh at.

Write down three things your gremlin says to you

Ken says to me:

  • You are arrogant.
  • Calm down, you are too much.
  • What you are doing doesn’t make any difference.

Dead-head your gremlin

Just like a gardener dead-heads roses, it’s time to dead-head your gremlin. Because your gremlin isn’t real. But your inner narrative is. So write down three things that you would actually say to yourself to deadhead your gremlin. I would say:

  • I am confident.
  • I have the right amount of energy to bring a room alive.
  • I help people unlock their stories and that is enough.

Write your statement down

Write these statements on a Post-it Note or card and have them in your pocket or above your computer.

Say your statements regularly

Say these statements to yourself out loud just before you go into a meeting. Do this as often as you can and you will start to feel more confident.

Remember your new inner narrative

Your inner narrative is strong, so every time you present and dead-head your gremlin you are creating a new inner narrative. It takes time and is not a one-hit wonder, but it will work.



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Stewart Bewley

Stewart Bewley


I began life as an actor, started my own presentation company, Amplify ( I love Flat Whites.