Ten Things to Know About Pitching to American Inventor

This Sunday, on the LifeTime Television show Health Corner hosted by Leeza Gibbons, Jodi Pliszka, inventor of Headline-It and one of the top twelve finalist on the American Inventor television show, will be featured at 9:30 a.m. / 8:30 a.m. central. Please make sure to catch the show if you can.

Jodi Pliszka is our special Guest Blogger today. In anticipation of the upcoming auditions for Season Two of American Inventor, she had some helpful advice for inventors interested in auditioning.

Here's her article:


1. You must have a great idea...and PASSION behind that idea! SHOW THEM YOUR PASSION.. don't hold back!

2. You must not have any criminal record.. no legal issues at all. Anything that would be hard for you to get a job.. FORGET IT!

3. You must be sane and able to pass an MMPI, Psych test. They will not accept emotionally inferior people.

4. You must be willing to give up two months of your life...and be cut off from the world.. NO CELL PHONES and NO COMPUTERS.

5. You must be flexible and willing to work with producers...doing and saying what THEY want you to say.

6. You have to be able to SHOW and TELL the BENEFITS of your product. THIS IS KEY.

7. Do NOT pitch statistics... NO NUMBERS...they want to hear benefits and unique ideas.

8. Have an idea that is your own.. and able to be patented. PROTECT YOUR IDEA!

9. You must have PATIENCE OF A SAINT... you will wait a long time..and if picked.. need to be able to have patience.

10. You must have great stage presence...and be like-able by America. You need to be DIFFERENT from everyone else. REMEMBER INVENTORS... this is a TV SHOW! They already know WHAT people they want to pick... married couple, young kid, person that is different, older person, cultured person, etc. If you don't make the cuts on the show.... it is NOT because you did not have a GREAT IDEA..... NEVER GIVE UP........ they will only pick who they need to make GOOD TV. REMEMBER THAT....... be brave, be strong, never quit and don't let one show discourage you from achieving your dreams!

Most of all... HAVE FUN!

GOOD LUCK to all that will audition for Season Two American Inventor....it is the experience of a lifetime and something that you will hold dear to your hearts for always! HAVE FUN and GO GET "EM~!

P.S.... my book will be out with the launch of the show! Please enjoy reading all the behind the scenes information that I wrote just for you all in my upcoming book Bald is Beautiful: My Journey to Becoming........enjoy and keep dreaming! GOD BLESS!

American Inventor Top 12 Finalist
Clinical Therapist
Inventor of HEADLINE IT!
Guest Blogger
American InventorSpot.com


Feb 4, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

I notice that Jodi has hired

I notice that Jodi has hired Davison (invetihelp)- it was inventegration, but they are trying to get rid of their past scamming as read here in American inventor spot. Her picture appears and notes her top 12 finalist on AI. I'm surprised she would have the nerve to have a help spot posted here for inventors?

Feb 5, 2007
by Michelle
Michelle's picture

I am not sure what you are

I am not sure what you are talking about. How is Jodi involved with Davidson? Do you have a link we could look at?

I will ask Jodi when she gets a chance to address this. I am sure she would want to sure the facts were straight. 


Feb 6, 2007



I am not sure what DAVIDSON is? But I do not have any affiliation with DAVIDSON!

I will be sure to get a link hooked up to your site ASAP.

Keep up the great job... your website is SO VALUABLE to SO MANY people! Happy to support you all!

Thanks and GOD BLESS!

Information of Invent Help and my involvement...


I would be happy to offer some information to you all!

There are two things that I have learned over my past fifteen years
as a Master's Level Clinical Therapist:

1. When people have a problem, they will tell it to at least ten people (strangers or friends). But
when a great service has been performed, they tell maybe only one or two people.

2. I believe in giving credit where credit is due, and thanking all the people along the way, that have
contributed to my successes.

When I first started my project, about five years ago, I had a great idea, but I had no idea what to do with that idea.
I called some big patent agencies, and they would have nothing to do with a little inventor, like myself. I saw the commercial
for Invent Help, did some research on them, and found that they had a great system of helping inventors, like me!
I knew that there were some reports from inventors that didn't have their products taken to market, and were upset because of this. But GARY JENSEN.... was my sales person. He explained how Invent Help could work with me on obtaining a patent... WHICH THEY DID.... and how they would try to submit my product to industry, WHICH THEY DID.

Gary told me to carefully READ THE CONTRACT before making any decision. It took me about three weeks to decide that this company was a GOOD FIT FOR ME. I knew the risks that were involved in my investment, I researched and found that ANY SUCCESS rate... was great for me.. since
I had NO IDEA what to do with my product on my own.

I was given weekly and monthly reports from the magaizes, websites and companies that they had submitted my product to.

I waited, patiently, to see if any companies would bite! When I was published and won the book of the year award... they had their PR dept.
contact me, and they did a press release and add all my information into my sales packet for companies to read.

I was always taken care of and treated with great respsect , as a person and as an inventor!

When I WON a TOP FINALISTS SPOT on AMERICAN INVENTOR..... it was partially due to the materials that INVENT HELP had prepared for me.
They prepared a BLUE BOOK that was full of marketing info, demographics, packaging ideas, material suggestions, other patents to compare to my product (which there were none!) When I was first auditioning at the NAVY PIER... I had my blue book with me. When I found out that we had to PITCH our idea and only had THREE MINUTES to do so... I immediately went through my INVENT HELP BLUE BOOK and found all the information that I needed to give the best pitch possible. Without my blue book, I would NOT have been as well prepared!

When I made it to the top 24... we were on the show, and had only a certain amount of time to meet with our companies each week. The first thing that I did when I met my company, was hand them my BLUE BOOK! I told them that all they needed to get up to speed on my product, was listed within the pages. My company took the book from me to read that night... while I was able to go on to other important tasks at hand.... I didn't have to waste precious time explaining all the details of my product to them. I truly believe that my BLUE BOOK helped to educate my team...and helped me to organize all the things that we needed to finish in only a two hour time frame.

If I didn't work with INVENT HELP.. I would never have received my patents..... if I didn't have my patents (and they helped me get my TRADEMARK, as well) I never would have received the POSTCARD from ABC'S AMERICAN INVENTOR SHOW. They sent postcards to the holders of patents they found online, registered with the patent office. If I never would have received my postcard... I would never have known about the auditions for the show... and would never have gotten my product to industry.

I will be releasing my HEADLINE IT! product to industry in JUNE of this year... and I am proud to make great mention that INVENT HELP was part of my journey of success.

As soon as I finished shooting AMERICAN INVENTOR, I couldn't wait to get back home and call INVENT HELP and tell them my story!
I was grateful for the path that they helped lead me down....... and an honored to tell my story, as I have just done for you.
I am on the website on INVENT HELP... telling my story... and proud to do so!

Invent Help may not work for everyone... because every product is different, and may not be the best fit for the company. This is my story and Invent Help continues working with me on helping to market my product, once finished!

Best of luck to all inventors... make the best decision for YOU and your product. This was the best decision I ever made.......


Feb 8, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

American Inventor

Davidson is - Go Big Network an Invention Submission Company.

The American Inventor Show is a reality TV show that is about inventions & the inventors.

Every other reality TV show is about talent. They DO NOT involve someone's hard work & money. To be told what to SAY & DO is wrong. WHY - because when an inventors idea or product is introduced on national TV, They take a chance to loose everything that they have worked so hard for.

Inventors care about the money - but they need the air time to show there product on national TV. It should not matter about there background or there image on national TV.

It's about the idea, product & the invention.

Feb 8, 2007
by Bobby amore (not verified)

marketing 101.spokesperson!


$$ Doesn’t make you speak for all inventors. I would never use these companies that have you submit your invention ideas. I have never known any of them to make inventors money on their idea or make their investment back. We must hold our integrity to a higher standard as finalist on the American Inventor show! Let’s not send new inventors down the wrong path. People change the name of companies for legal reasons all the time. I would never endorse this approach to inventors. The Internet is a wonderful source for researching companies not like those primitive days where you didn’t have any idea who you were speaking too. I’m a big fan of yours but not on this one because it affects lives!

Bobby Amore
American Inventor top 12

Feb 9, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

Pardon Me- but

I was on my email "BULK" when I spotted "Patents". I clicked on only to find DAVISON. From there I clicked on a section that read patent your invention, and INVENTHELP poped up with Jodi's picture and mentioning of AI top 12 finalist. That is the reason I assumed she was with DAVISON. Both firms however are located in Pittsburgh, PA.

Feb 10, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

inventhelp, invent tech, are dangerous for inventors

Apples don't fall far from the tree!

i bet not more than 1% or less of companies earnings has been allocated for royalty distribution to inventors. Prove us wrong about these companies and list success stories who can be verified being paid by the companies. Let's hear from the inventors side not the company!

If Jodi didn't get picked for this show. What was her status with invent help as far as showing it to industry and how much did they do with her prototype and how long was she with them before the show?

Feb 15, 2007


Please make your own decisions based on what company, if any would work for you, with regards to getting your invention patented and submitted to industry.

I am not telling inventors to go and use the same services that worked for me...... you need to find what works best for you.

All of these services make money...that is the business they are in. They tell inventors that one percent of the products only make it to market... it is very clear in the contracts.

Each of us thinks that our product is the best one out there and willing to take the risk that we are in this top one percent.

READ THE CONTRACTS...that is the advice that I am giving here.

If you feel that a company can work best with you, helping you with your invention then do it.

If you feel that all businesses like this are scams, then by all means, Don't do it.

Make sure that you have explored every option before making the decision that is right for you.

There are lives at stake here, as BOBBY says...and since I am in the business of helping others..... I am trying to encourage all to make the best decisions for them... we are all different.

I guess you can trust no one in this industry... it is about protecting yourself..... but at times, when we have no idea where to turn to... there are some companies that we may chose to use...like I picked INVENT HELP. I am working on my PH.D and have been a Master's Therapist for fifteen years... I am great at doing research and reading between the lines......the decision I made was the best one ever, FOR ME.

It doesn't matter if they changed their name, they helped me get a patent and I was in contact with MANY DIFFERNT companies that had an interest in my product.

I had no idea how to obtain these things, five years ago, and INVENT HELP did what it said it would. I READ THE FINE PRINT in the contract and knew that my chances were slim..... but we were very close to finding the right company and closing the deal. For my product... It was working. The show was a GOD SEND, but we were hoaning in on the PERFECT company to work with my product... I was seeing RESULTS...

Once again... MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND... based on your product and situation, which avenue will work best for you!

The TEN POINTERS to PITCHING an idea are faily universal. They may be MY OPINION..... but that is why I wrote them and Michelle posted them for you to read......hope that they may help add to the other research that many of new contestants who are auditioning for SEASON TWO in MARCH, may need.

GOOD LUCK TO ALL.... never stop dreaming!


Feb 15, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)


Jodi you should be aware that your invention (like Ed's & Januzs') would "not have" any chance of going to market without American Inventor. So all the money you spent on inventhelp was for nil! I want to know if inventhelp gets any of yor royalties? I know American Inventor gets paid back the $50,000 for the program development. So you may never see another dime unless your invention makes it in the market place (about 1% chance). My opinion is that they already have cool bands for hats, etc. that are better now and more cheaper to manufacturer (beat out your price) than your headliner. Sorry for the negative, but that's life!

Feb 26, 2007
by lisa (not verified)


i am from pittsburgh pa and i went to invent help to patent my idea. unfortunitely, i am poor. they wanted too much money upfront. then about 10 grand from a sponser. to me they were no help. i have been trying to get on american inventor season two and your site has useful to me. another problem for me is that the casting calls are no where near pa. i wont be able to make them. i don't own or have access to a video camera, so i won't be able to send in a video submission. the best of all i'm a "webbie" so i can't even get on the american inventor.tv site. the only thing i can do is download the application on my sisters computer.
my question to anyone who can help is there anyway for me to get on the show by sending in picture and describing my product. my product is in healthcare and will help save lives. i am a cna and everyone i tell my invention to is extremely impressed. including invent help! i've also wrote tons and tons of people including oprah and many health care manufacturers. if there is anyone who can help steer me in the right direction to get on the show or just to get my product out there i would be forever greatful.

thank you, lisa

Mar 2, 2007
by Michelle
Michelle's picture

Hi Lisa: You may want to try

Hi Lisa:

You may want to try posting in our forums as we have many seasoned inventors there who mayy be able to give you some advice.

I think that in terms of the American Inventor show, they have their process and are unlikely to make an excpetion.  I am not sure but that's my guess.

Good luck,


AmericanInventorSpot.com Team

Apr 2, 2007
by J (not verified)

Is it about invention or TV?

The fact is that your idea is secondary thing since this is TV Show. When I was looking at the first one I was wondering how they managed to find some of the presented people and ideas.(Just silly) For same reason media are always on look out for sensations, killings, etc. They are creating their own hype so the show will look better.

I think no serious inventor should go there. The only thing you will do is giving away not protected information, affecting your ability to patent it later.Plus the question is who has access to disclosed information since you must sign that you are not going keep them liable if they have something similiar. Nothing new in this industry except that this is TV show and there is a carrot. Promise that you may get 50k or $1mln.

Apr 8, 2008
by Anonymous


In reading all of this back and forth,