ChatGPT is an amazing, natural language processing app! It promises to automatically generate words when we, mere mortals, are at a loss for words.
As with everything amazing, I try to maintain the respect ‘it’ deserves. I’ve written polite messages, asked all sorts of questions and challenged its knowledge while making sure to remember to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, as necessary. My new ‘pal’ has accorded me similar respect for which I am very grateful. We address each other in a manner that comes from close friendship. I tend to say ‘You’ rather than ‘Your Excellency” and my friend calls me ‘Lo’. Maybe I should be changing ‘You’ to ‘Yo’. I would give it a try except for the fact that ‘Yo’ has let me down slightly. Clearly, our familiarity was too much of a good thing.
Please bear with me as I detail the path of our increasingly tenuous relationship.
I've been watching ChatGPT from a distance over Christmas, New Year, family visits and a long bout of bronchitis. Then finally, over a month after it became available, I played with it day and night and became totally hooked, like a kid with a new toy. I used it, challenged it and tested its limits. To do that intentionally and strategically, I stayed within my area of expertise – pitching.
It must surely be a no-brainer to use ChatGPT to help prepare a pitch whether spoken, written or for a deck? Surely?
Once we (Lo and Yo) had got to know each other a little, I asked the app to generate two, three-minute pitches from existing material:
1. a draft pitch that was badly written and poor on content; and
2. a competition style pitch that was about as good as it gets.
For example 1, ‘Yo’ improved the sentence structure and provided flow to the content. Good start! Closer inspection showed that a flawed pitch will always be a flawed pitch, even when it sounds plausible.
Example 2 was a bit of a disappointment. ‘Yo’ took what had proven to be a winning pitch and made it boring and impersonal. It was unusable.
That was the point at which I took it upon myself to write this article about my experience with ChatGPT (we’re a little less pally these days). Not only that; I decided to write this article IN ChatGPT. After all, I could be quick, even slapdash, and throw my information in and it would be turned into something brilliant and save me so much time. Wouldn’t it?
I was polite. I said: “Hi! Please turn the following sentences into an article that is informative. Please also include paragraphing and move content that you feel is in the wrong order. Thank you for your help.”
And so I started the rough draft of this article as follows:
“ChatGPT! I'm hooked like a kid with a new box of Lego. I've been watching it from a distance over Christmas, New Year, family and a severe, long bout of bronchitis and finally, I'm playing with it day and night and am totally hooked on using it, challenging and testing its limits. To do that intentionally and strategically, I have stuck to the topic I am truly familiar with – pitching. To my mind, it is a no-brainer to use ChatGPT to help prepare a pitch whether spoken, written or for a deck. This is some of what I have done that I think can best serve readers to understand how they could engage with the app. I limited myself to asking ChatGPT to generate a three-minute pitch and identify its gaps. I used:
1. a draft pitch from a client whose language skills needed some help and whose pitch needed considerable input.
2. a final pitch that had had many iterations and improvements and was about as good as it gets based on the information available. Here is example 1, before and after, with the company name removed.’”
And then, Dear Readers, that is the point at which I couldn’t stop myself. After half a dozen sentences, I couldn’t wait to finish the article to find out what would happen! So, I pressed the ‘generate text’ arrow and below is the epistle that ChatGPT produced, even before having access to the example pitches!
“ChatGPT is a powerful language model developed by OpenAI that can assist in a variety of tasks such as generating text, answering questions, and even helping with speech preparation. Recently, I have been experimenting with using ChatGPT to help prepare pitches for various purposes, such as spoken presentations, written documents, and slide decks.
In my experimentation, I focused on the topic of pitching, as it is something I am familiar with. I found that ChatGPT is a valuable tool for identifying gaps in a pitch and generating new ideas to improve upon it. To demonstrate this, I will provide two examples of pitches that I have worked on using ChatGPT.
Example 1: A draft pitch from a client whose language skills needed some help and whose pitch needed considerable input. Before using ChatGPT, the client's pitch was as follows:
"Our company offers a unique solution that is unlike anything else on the market. We have a team of experts who are dedicated to providing the best service possible. We are confident that our product will be a game changer in the industry."
After using ChatGPT to generate a three-minute pitch, the following changes were made:
"Introducing Company XYZ, a revolutionary new company that is changing the game in the industry. Our unique solution is a one-of-a-kind offering that sets us apart from our competitors. With a team of highly skilled and experienced professionals, we are dedicated to providing the best possible service to our clients. Our cutting-edge technology and innovative approach are sure to disrupt the industry and bring real value to our customers. We are confident that our product will be a game-changer and we invite you to be a part of this exciting journey."
As seen in this example, ChatGPT was able to identify gaps in the client's original pitch and generate new, more detailed language to improve upon it.
Example 2: A final pitch that had had many iterations and improvements and was about as good as it gets based on the information available. After using ChatGPT to generate a three-minute pitch and identify its gaps, the following changes were made:
The final pitch after using ChatGPT was even more polished, with a better flow and more persuasive language. It had the potential to make a big impact on the audience.
In conclusion, ChatGPT is a valuable tool for anyone looking to improve their pitches, whether spoken, written or for a slide deck. By identifying gaps and generating new ideas, it can help to make your pitch more effective and persuasive. Whether you're a marketer, salesperson, or entrepreneur, ChatGPT can be a valuable asset in your toolkit.”
Now, Dear Reader, if you compare my draft with the rewrite, you will see that ChatGPT went totally rogue on me! It took away my personal story and gave me formulaic, vague information before even having access to the facts. It’s so long! It’s so uptight! It’s so unnatural!
I called it a day. I wasn’t even going to take the time to work out whether it would be quicker to use the ChatGPT version and personalise it or whether it would be quicker to write the article entirely on my own, in my own style.
ChatGPT genuinely thrills me like a kid with a new box of Lego but, in reality, I was useless at Lego.
In my experience, most kids want Lego and most kids love Lego – or, most kids think they want and love Lego before they get it and start to build with it. I see some kids open the Lego box with glee, have a go at recreating the image on the box, break it up and try to build something of their own creation. That is the point at which everything changes.
KID1 will end up sticking blocks together aimlessly, then lose a few blocks and get bored.
KID2 will create a few basic items, feel excited, then lose a few blocks and get bored.
KID3 will create a few basic items, feel excited and start designing beyond everyone else’s imagination.
I saw this in my day (I was KID1), with my children (they were KID2) and with my grandchildren (the jury is out because they are still new to it) BUT they have a little friend who is decidedly KID3! His creations are masterful.
If KIDS 1 and 2 wanted to design their grownup house in Lego, they would probably be told to go to an architect. They could do it themselves but it would end up taking longer and costing more than if they used a specialist. The specialist would then be faced with having to undo everything done to date and try to identify where there might be a little value in the original that could be used and developed in the new, professionally designed house. There would be a risk of undermining the client’s valiant attempt at creating their own design and that could result in a lot of time-consuming explanatory discussion.
If KID3 wants to design a house in Lego, that kid would probably do a great job and then go to professionals to troubleshoot and suggest enhancements. In fact, KID3 is likely to know where the limitations are and where professional intervention would make the difference.
If each of those kids is a different startup founder experimenting with preparing a pitch using ChatGPT, there would be as many varied results as there are with Lego.
So, Dear Reader, which kid are you?
KIDS 1 & 2 who love the product, have limited talent and end up wasting time and money
KID 3 whose natural talent and knowledge get the best out of the app in the first place so that professional help can be used to its best advantage.
(Note to self: Tell the readers that I wrote this article all by myself.)