When it Comes to Sell Sheets and Getting Your Invention Licensed–The Medium is the Message

Marshall McLuhan coined this phrase in the 1960’s meaning that the form, or the way a message is communicated, becomes part of the message. It creates a relationship where the medium influences how the message is perceived by the recipient.

Execution is Key

It’s not just the choice of the medium. It’s the quality of the execution in the medium you choose. The right medium with poor execution can undermine the message. Do you really want to say to your audience that the information I am presenting is not important to me? I just threw it together because I did not value it enough to put in the work. You look lazy; you’re dispassionate and you lack authority.

  • Remember your teacher saying, “Neatness counts.”
  • It is what you say its how you say it
  • Style does affect substance


Your goal is to influence. Yes, you could say you are trying to sell or make a pitch but this is a bit deeper.

Right now you need to think in theses terms: you are trying to influence a decision maker. Your intent is to get the decision maker to keep reading, share your idea with a colleague, or call you back. You need to influence them positively or else they will just hit the delete button and go on to the next item in their inbox.

You are Your Work (Sometimes)

Poor grammar, spelling mistakes and poor overall writing skill can convey that you are not intelligent. The fact is that people will judge you.  I know it’s not fair but that’s life.

You are compared on a continuum to others. You are either rated higher or lower as compared to someone else.

You are judged by:

  • Your resume
  • The way you look
  • The way you speak
  • The way you write

Your written and graphic communication says a lot about you. If you don’t take the time to do an excellent job with the communication then why would the reader want to take the time to read it?

Proper Style and Form is Well Executed Media

The proper use of white space, consistency, contrast, font choices and alignment all contribute to a piece of work that can say…

“this is an excellent idea presented by someone who cares” or

“what idiot made this piece of crap”.

You can’t do this in an e-mail or a word processor. It just does not work. I’ve tried and I get sell sheets from people who have tried.

You have one chance to make a good impression. In as little as 50 milliseconds (1/20th of a second), according to researchers at Carleton University in Ontario. You literally have the time to blink of an eye to catch someones attention and keep it.

If you are old enough to remember the transition from typewriters, to computer with dot matrix printers, to laser jets and now to COLOR you can see how the medium has influence the message. We bold and italicize fonts. We use color pictures in our documents and even e-mails. The proper use of style combined with good content delivered in ways that stimulate the senses help get your idea across.

Not only is is more appealing to the eye, it can add clarity and add to your message. Graphics, sound and video further the impact of your message.

Would you want to read this?

Here’s another example of what not to do. http://aerobie.com/about/ringscientificpaper.htm This is a very good description of a cool invention but just courier font wants me to click the back button. A sell sheet with a graphic and a link to a video would make a better impression.

Does this graphic make you want to play this game?

By the way, this is Pong. And it was cool. Was.

What I Don’t Like to Hear from Inventors

I need to present this invention to a prospective licensee company. I don’t have the time, money, skill, or the tools to make a professional sell sheet.

Oh well, I’ll just …

  • send an e-mail describing the invention
  • send a link home made video
  • send a low resolution picture I took with my cell phone of my prototype

So what does this all mean to you?

If you intend to communicate your invention idea with passion, clarity and professionalism.Take the time to make the best sell sheet you can. The best graphics. The best layout. The best copy. The best video animation.

If you can’t do this, don’t know how, have no time, or don’t have the tools then get help.


For as little as $99 I can get you a sell sheet you would be proud of. Just send me an e-mail.




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