Agent pitch – it’s drawing near – tips needed

I’m sure we’ve all done this at some point. I watch the UK Apprentice, and every time someone has to get up and pitch to a room full of strangers, I hear the voice in my head saying, ‘I’m so glad I don’t have to do that.’

Famous last words?

Some of you may remember I blogged about the Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh Discovery Day held at Foyles bookstore in London next month. (It’s here, if you missed it last time.)

It was August when I found out I had a chance to pitch an agent and somehow it felt like I had all the time in the world to write and perfect what I was going to say, and suddenly, that time has flown by and I now have two weeks and three days until I have to stand up and stand out.

I’m starting to panic a little as I realise that –

A)  I’ve never delivered a ‘verbal’ pitch before in my life, and . . .

B) I’m staring at a blank page!

Yep, that’s right, I’ve not even started it! That’s not to say I’ve not thought about it – I have – but that’s as far as I’ve got.

It may seem like I still have a long time (and for some people, it is plenty of time). Unfortunately not for me. I like to be organised, and considering I spent two weeks trying to perfect cover letters for my submissions, I’m feeling a tad under pressure.

This is where the Word Press community comes in, I hope.

I’m after some tips. I could look up everything on the internet (and I will do some research) but sometimes the best tips come from people who have had first-hand experience of pitching.

How do you start it? Do I use up all my 30 seconds? Do I use notes (they are allowed) or do I free-style? First impressions count – an agent has to like you as well as your book – pressure!

I could go on, but I might drive myself nuts over thinking everything.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.