Fast Forward - Week 2: Steel yourself, Jon has landed - NABS
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Fast Forward – Week 2: Steel yourself, Jon has landed

Words by Jo Arden, Head of Strategy at 23red and Fast Forward mentor

Week two of Fast Forward is always a good one. The teams are over the initial feeling of dread, they’ve met up, had a beer, remembered what the blonde haired one with glasses is called, and they’ve got some views on the brief. So all set.

But even the best of week twos form previous years would not have compared with this one. International advertising legend, strategy supremo and the pitch whisperer, Jon Steel, was there. In person. Sorry 2014 NABSters who were frankly ecstatic to get him by video link-up from Australia. And it was by no means just the delegates that felt the excitement – the thin veneer of mentor professionalism was shattered as the pre-session briefing descended into downright giddiness ahead of the talk.

With beautiful slides, pace and measure that I imagine we’ll be seeing some good imitations of in week 7, Jon shared his entertaining, and occasionally saucy, wisdom on the art of winning pitches. From how to build productive relationships with prospective clients to the value in a lucky wine – we enjoyed an hour of practical tips and inspiration for those just starting out to seasoned pitchers needing to up their game.

One of the most wonderful things about NABS Fast Forward is the energy and conviction our speakers bring each week. An audience of 80 of our industry’s brightest stars can be daunting (even if you are Jon Steel) but five minutes in and speaker and crowd were like old friends. Which meant in turn that our delegates asked some cracking questions and got some characteristically pragmatic answers.

I’m sure that team Jorgensen wasn’t the only one that went on to approach their group work with visceral determination and focus. Jon’s words about having ideas early seem to have been particularly resonant – exactly the mind sharpening we needed as we start the countdown to pitch day – just 5 weeks to go . . . .

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