1. Make sure you are ready to pitch. This means: your manuscript is finished. You have revised it. You have had a couple beta readers or a critique group give you feedback and you revised it again. Ideally, you should have written a query letter and used it as the basis of your pitch.
2. Write your pitch a few weeks before you pitch an agent. Practice it out on beta reads, friends, family and anyone unfamiliar with your book.
3. Revise pitch to be as straightforward as possible based on feedback in #2.
This means focus on the protagonist. Use 1-2 proper names at most. This is your window display. You want the agent to come into your store. Hook them, don’t overwhelm and confuse them.
To paint a picture for the agent use specifics like “the Ella-Fitzgerald-loving, cigar-smoking 16 year old girl raised in the bible belt, Jennilee Harrington”.
4. Finalize your pitch a week before you give it. Practice it 5-10 times a day up to the pitching session.
5. Do not make last minute changes to your pitch. If you followed step 1-5, they won’t be necessary. You need to be so comfy with your pitch that it flows of your tongue and last minute changes always flub me up.
Note: If you don’t have a pitch prepared, you might want to consider attending a workshop that is more about creating a query letter/pitch/synopsis. Or joining a writing organization to learn how to write one.
Pitching is like going on a job interview. You want to be prepared and give them the best you.
Second disclosure, this is only what worked best for me. Might be completely different for you.
What is your process for pitching?