Let's say you just came up with the best idea any creative mind has ever come up with. The kind of idea that makes girls' knees buckle and grown men cry out with delight.
You can't wait to share it with family, friends and all of your writer contacts so that they finally understand just how incredibly talented you really are.
But before you get in the car and start cruising through the Hollywood Hills pointing out all the charming bungalows you're gonna buy with your forthcoming windfall, please, do yourself a favor.
Nothing kills a great story/book/movie/show idea faster than a premature pitch.
Still looking to publish that first novel? Haven't sold your spec yet? Still looking for solid representation? If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, then you REALLY don't want to pitch too early. It is not worth running the risk of being branded as an over-zealous, unrefined amateur when all that was needed was some ironing out of the nitty gritty.
Whatever you may think of Joe Finder or his novels, his blog post about The Art of the Pitch is spot on. He even includes a story wherein he walked into a producer's office, pitched his idea before he was fully prepared and essentially got laughed at. If you're an established author like Mr. Finder, there's a good chance you can and will recover from an experience like this. If you're not, then you may have a tough time scoring that next big meeting.
If your story is as groundbreaking as you think it is, then give it the respect it deserves by waiting until it's PERFECT before presenting it to the world.
For more advice on how to hone your presentation and communication skills in general, take a gander at Frank Adamo's tips on Effective Presentations...