Anthill helped put together Pitch Club’s third event, held in Melbourne late last month.
I had a great time, watching nine eager business builders pitch their cunning concepts to an audience of supportive fellow entrepreneurs and investors.
But one aspect of the night stood out as memorable above all else.
The most ill-prepared, disorganised, unpracticed pitcher, a ring-in, who raised his hand at the last-minute to fill an unforeseen scratching, took home the coveted Pitch Club Crown (an Anthill cap, a bottle of Moet and the admiration of the Pitch Club crowd).
Some of the more experienced pitchers on the night were perplexed. And for good reason. At Pitch Club Melbourne, the concise, articulate and very, very smooth were left for dead by the stuttering, self-deprecating, albeit endearing, banter of our winner.
So, how did this happen?
My unscientific opinion is that most Australians don’t like their mates to skite. They don’t like tall-poppies and they hate anyone too fond of the word “I”.
Attend any Australian rock concert and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
Silverchair will begin a set by politely making small talk with the audience. Crowded House will explain the meaning of a song in quiet, purposeful tones.
However, attend an American rock concert… and… well… you wouldn’t be surprised to hear those famous five words brayed at you with the force of a Marshall amplifier:
“Are you ready to rock!”
I’ve wondered this for years. While US teens are being taught in the school of positive self-assertion (sometimes a little too much, me thinks), Australian kids are being told to tuck their shirts in and speak when spoken to (unless your name is Corey and you like to party).
Let’s face it. Australians have their own way of getting a message across.
But here’s the question: Is our way the better way?
When given the chance, do our tall-poppies shine or do they quickly turn into wall-flowers when put under the international sun-lamp?