The Upside Blog
The Killer Pitch Master Slays the Competition
Long before Precious L. Williams was known as the “Killer” Pitch Master, the CEO of Perfect Pitches by Precious, an accomplished professional speaker, and the author of three books, including her latest, “Pitching for Profit: The Bad Bitches’ Playbook to Convert Conversations into Currency,” she was fighting for her life.
Precious will never forget November 18, 1991, as it is seared into her mind. A belt buckle, extension cord, and broom handle race though the air and crash down brutally on Precious’s naked twelve-year old body. Wham. Wham. Wham. The avalanche of blows is unwavering, and devastating.
Her mother yells, “You’re ugly, you’re stupid, no man is ever going to want you!”—those words are meant to psychologically maim, like a soldier stepping on a hidden improvised explosive device (IED). Without warning, her mother and her sisters begin pummeling her body.
After the assault, Precious is thrown out of the family house. Her naked and battered body is bleeding and in pain, but she walks two miles to her aunt’s house—to this day, she doesn’t know how she made it there.
You Are the Story
Precious shared her story on a Butler talk, posted on YouTube in December 2021, titled “Your Flaws = Your Secret Weapon.” She spins inspirational gold, fighting back tears in a cracking voice, to remind the audience that they too, can overcome.
She is in charge—and doesn’t need your admiration to feel good about herself.
Precious’s eyeglasses frame her inquisitive eyes. Her personality commands attention, as does her 5’-9” height. She’s wearing a red dress that stops four inches above her knees. The sleeves of the dress flow down her sides like a shawl, exposing her arms. Her hair is in a braided bun, resting at attention, high on her head.
Her red dress stands out in contrast to the black curtain behind her. She is in charge—and doesn’t need your admiration to feel good about herself.
If you combined the lyrical flow of the late Notorious B.I.G, add Oprah’s vision and her early days of television talk show hustle, with the wisdom of the average Black grandmother, you’d have Precious. In fact, she credits much of her success to her grandmother, who was the first one to realize that Precious had a gift for speaking. Precious says, “She loved me from the day I was born to the time she exited this earth. She is the reason I keep going.”
Precious, a vibrant and energic 43, demonstrates grace and thankfulness. The woman has been to hell and back, from battling a nervous breakdown, to homelessness, to romantic heartbreak, feelings of abandonment, and an alcohol addiction. It’s not surprising that her go-to inspirational song is Cardi B’s “Get Up Ten,” with the line “Knock me down nine times, but I get up ten.”
She revels in sharing her life experiences, and her resiliency.
Education Is Her Stage
Under the care of her grandparents in St Louis, Precious went from special education to the valedictorian of her graduating class on June 6, 1997, at Beaumont High School. She was Ms. Beaumont in 1996-1997—the queen of her high school. She loved school and earned stellar grades. She participated in the Scripps National Spelling Bee Competition, placing 7th. When she was 16 years old, she read a speech in front of the mayor of St. Louis that led to a standing ovation. That speech would be a defining moment in her life and lead to paid speeches, and a career using her voice and communications skills.
When people told her she would not get into college, she proved them wrong. She received a full scholarship to Spellman College, one of the Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) in Atlanta, where she majored in English, graduating in four years.
She went to Georgetown Law on a scholarship, but was kicked out in 2002—which Precious openly shares with a mischievous laugh. Most people would feel shame, but not Precious. She revels in sharing her life experiences, and her resiliency.
Precious earned a scholarship to Rutgers Law. But hard times were waiting for her. In 2004, she had a nervous breakdown while in law school and spent three months in the hospital. When she recovered, she returned to school to complete her law degree. Proving that no obstacle was too large to traverse, Precious passed the New York Bar Exam on her first try.
After practicing law full time from 2008 to 2011, she realized it wasn’t for her. She started her company, Curvy Girlz Lingerie, an intimate apparel brand for “full-figured divas and plus-size fashionistas,” as she describes it. Precious knew that there was a market opportunity consisting of the 40 million women in the United States who are size 14 or larger.
At the time, her bank account was overdrawn by $400. The lack of money did not deter her. “I’m going to find a way or make one,” she said—adversity glides off her like a fried egg in a Teflon-coated pan.
To source capital, she entered 14 pitch competitions, and won 13 in a row, pocketing $150,000. This prize money was used to launch Curvy Girlz Lingerie. On her pitching journey, Precious won the 2013 Black Enterprise Pitch Competition, appeared on the MSNBC program, Your Business, the Elevator Pitch segment, and on season 8 of ABC’s Shark Tank—the pinnacle for aspiring entrepreneurs seeking capital.
When Curvy Girlz Lingerie failed to take flight, her pitching prowess led her to start Perfect Pitches by Precious. Pitching would be at the center of this new business and her life.
The thing I want people to understand about pitching is you do it every day, anyway.
Thinking back, she remembers God telling her at five years old that she would be a star. Precious is not afraid to be herself because she likes who she has become. She calls herself a full-figured diva—but she is quick to say she didn’t grow up that way. “I was thin at one point.” She is all about embracing the flaws that make her unique.
In business circles, pitching is no longer confined to entrepreneurs, and has become the acceptable way to give a succinct overview of a problem, and present your solution. Precious states, “I have found that pitching is the best way. And the way I know that is that I’m a 13-time national champion.”
“A pitch is a short, brief way of introducing yourself, your book, your brand, your business [to people] who you are hoping to [be] your target market, so you can move forward with the sale,” says Precious. You want to entice them to learn more.
With your pitch, you want to interrupt the typical boring pattern. “I lead with difference because I’m funny, engaging; I’ll say the kind of things that will make you clutch your pearls. My thing is shock and awe,” which helps her break through.
“The thing I want people to understand about pitching is you do it every day, anyway. When you’re talking to your friends about that no good man or woman, when you’re talking about an opportunity that came your way, when you’re talking about a job, you’re pitching. You’re making yourself the focal point [of the discussion.]” While money helps in pitching, in the end, she says. relationships are worth more than cash.
Precious refers to herself as the #killerpitchmaster and generously sprinkles her conversations with #slaythecompetition—hashtags are in vogue in the digital world. “I found a way to make myself stand out in a crowded marketplace. There are tons of speakers. You will never confuse me with Tony Robinson, Les Brown or Lisa Nichols.”
Fortune favors the bold. If you’re going to do something, do it with flair and finesse. Do it! Do it!
Precious’s goal is to be “The number one pitching, communication skills and speaker training company in the world.” She wants to help women turn difficult situations into powerful messages to fulfill their destiny.
“I want to be remembered as the woman who went forward, who kept going no matter what, and who opened doors for other women; and then enabled them to do the same: open the door for their children to see beyond where they are, and to live their dreams, not the reality.”
“I’m so happy that I lived to see things happen.” She never thought she would be on Shark Tank, quoted in the Wall Street Journal or do a Ted Talk. Precious says, “The things I get to do are crazy to me because no one but God thought I could.”
With conviction, Precious states, “Fortune favors the bold. If you’re going to do something, do it with flair and finesse. Do it! Do it! Be your own Kanye (Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West). Don’t let life box you in. Be the creative director, designer, rapper, producer—he’s all over the place. But he’s in his zone.”
If she could meet one celebrity, it would be Beyonce. Precious says, “I love her. I adore her. I want to sit down and chop it up with her, woman to woman.” In closing, she makes one last plea, “Make the most of your opportunities now. Make your impression now.”
Anthony Price is an entrepreneur, writer and publisher of Mini Books, concise stories for people who are curious about the world.
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Anthony Price is the publisher of Mini Books.