The word “pitch” used to be viewed negatively, provoking images of an overly-aggressive salesman backing you into a corner and hammering you with his spiel until you either bought his product or curled up on the floor in a pool of your own tears. Not anymore.

Nowadays a pitch is simply your personal or business story, rolled up into a concise and pleasing package.

It’s a way of sharing your message to get people excited and interested, without being obnoxious or salesy. It’s acknowledging a problem faced by your audience and offering up a solution that’s available should they need it. It’s asking questions in advance and presenting answers as a friendly, helpful advisor.

And a pitch can take on many forms. When you’re networking with prospective clients, you’re pitching. When you’re interacting on social media, you’re pitching. Going after a promotion or a new job? Guess what…you’re pitching. Even your website or LinkedIn profile is a digital pitch, sharing your message with the world when you’re not there to do it yourself.

In every form, a pitch is a conversation starter that, if done right, can lead to something great.