By @SimonCocking. Review of Catherine Moonan‘s ‘The Pitch Coach’ available for purchase from Liberties Press.

This will be a useful book for many people. Glossophobia affects an impressively large  number of people. It may be an uncommon word (the fear of public speaking, and no we hadn’t heard of the word either) but it is something that many people would like to be able to conquer.

Moonan has brought her own impressive experience allied with many experts in the field, and, (disclosure alert) Irish Tech News as well, to give a comprehensive survey of how to deal with these fears. Moonan herself has coached participants to the Irish Dragon’s Den since it’s inception, and the book offers clear insights from her time with them. She makes it clear that pitching is an art, not a science, and one that gets easier the more you do it. This may seem like a simple observation but the depths of anxiety that many potential pitchers face illustrates this is not a trivial issue.

There is also a lot of compassion and humour in the book. Gradually after reading more and more great interviews with a variety of top people in their spheres it’s clear that clarity, calm, and knowing your story will set you on the path to a successful pitch. We also enjoyed her interview with Pamela Newenham p186, (just after another great Irish Tech journalist whose name escapes me) offers some great insights into how to, and how not to pitch to her. Not calling her ‘Paula’ or ‘Patricia’ is a good start, and also

“do not harass the journalist about when the interview will be published …”

Throughout the book there are numerous great insights from interviews with lots of interesting people with very relevant experience. It would have been great to have heard a little more from the Dragons about how they assess the pitches they listen to. One of them describing their experience as like trying to make an assessment on a car as it passes them at 30 miles per hour.

Overall we enjoyed the book and if you are a glossophobe(?) then this is a good book for you.

Exclusive interview to follow with Catherine this week in Irish Tech News


As the pitch coach for the Irish TV programme ‘Dragons’ Den’, Catherine Moonan has coached more than 500 contestants, helping them to gain over €4 million in investment. In this practical and informative book, she provides all the skills and techniques you need to pitch yourself, your idea or your business.

In the book, Catherine interviews a wide range of industry experts on pitching, presenting, interviewing and public speaking. She combines their tips and advice with her own experience of training and coaching in effective communication and presentation skills since 2002.

This book is ideal for anyone who needs to speak in public, especially anyone with a fear of public speaking – whether they’re presenting themselves at a job or media interview, pitching their start-up business, presenting an idea to their CEO or delivering a speech at an important event. It will guide you, step-by-step, from a blank canvas to a positive end result.

About the Author
Catherine Moonan set up Communication Matters in 2002 to provide training and coaching in communication and presentation skills. Since then, she has trained individuals and corporate groups within a wide range of business sectors. Catherine has coached entrepreneurs and graduates on many of Ireland’s start-up programmes, including UCD’s Innovation Academy, DCU’s Ryan Academy, DIT’s Hothouse Programme and nine New Frontiers programmes in the Institutes of Technology around Ireland. She was the pitch coach for the finalists of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2014 and 2015.www.pitchcoach.ie


If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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