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Monday, 19 December 2016
How to make them remember you: 9 tips to give the pitch of your life
Those nerves before a big pitch will do one of two things – they’ll either propel you on to deliver a performance that is Oscar-worthy or leave you fumbling for the right words whilst doing your best impression of a rabbit blinded by headlights. Would you like to know how to make them remember you? Here are 9 tips to give the pitch of your life.
Make them Remember You
Pitching for anything – be it a new sale or job role – isn’t easy, but we’re all capable of delivering a pitch that will wow those in attendance. If you struggle with public speaking or have simply lost your mojo, we’ve got nine tips that will help you give the pitch of your life.
1. Walk in like you mean it
Your walk says a lot about you. Most importantly, it can easily give the game away if you're feeling fearful or vulnerable. This makes your entrance into the room in which you’re due to deliver your pitch absolutely key. Treat it as a boxer would treat his entrance to the ring – keep your shoulders relaxed, head up and stride with purpose (throw them a smile, too).
2. Remember that timing is critical
The less time a pitch takes, the better. There’s no bigger turn off for people attending a pitch than someone who drones on for what feels like hours.
Challenge yourself to pitch for no longer than ten minutes. Open by informing your audience that it’ll only take that long, and push yourself to beat your promise.
3. Tell a story
We all love a story, which is why marketing departments the world over focus on developing narratives around the products they are trying to sell.
Create a beginning, middle and end for your pitch and, if possible, include a character or two. By telling a story rather than running from A-Z of your pitch while pointing at a boring spreadsheet, you’ll hold their attention for far longer.
4. Dress like you mean it
Like it or not, people will start judging you the moment you walk into the room. That means your appearance is critical. Put on your best workwear and if you need to invest in a new outfit – do so. The result of a successful pitch will pay you back ten times over.
5. Give everyone eye contact
There’s no need to picture your audience naked, you’ll be glad to hear, but you do need to give everyone eye contact.
Don’t drop your head or gaze wistfully out of the window – maintain your line of sight on those in the room. Stare deep into their eyes while smiling and give everyone equal attention.
6. Talk about yourself
People are interested in people. Business is all about people. As fantastic as the company you work for is and as brilliant as the products you’re pitching are, you need to demonstrate some personable flair if you’re to impress those in front of you.
Start by telling the audience a little about yourself. They don’t need to know you’re favourite type of meal or the name of your hamster, but giving them an insight into who you are, why you joined the company and how you’ve reached your current position will endear them to you and make the rest of the pitch much easier.
Show them you’re human – just like them.
7. Brainstorm and prepare for potential questioning
The best pitch in the world can fall apart immediately if the resulting questions from the audience aren’t dealt with properly.
You’ll never second guess them all, but before your pitch, spend a good deal of time brainstorming any potential questions you may face and devise some quick-fire answers.
8. Remember you’re not the first to do this
While you’re pitching, there are thousands of other people the world over doing the exact same thing. Some of the people in the room may well have pitched themselves.
You’re not alone; millions have done this before and millions more will do so once you’re finished. If they can do it, you absolutely can.
You simply can’t practice a pitch too many times. Practice in front of the mirror, then in front of a colleague or family member. Then do the same again. And again.
That brilliant pitch is nestling inside you, waiting to be released. Use the tips above to set it free and leave a lasting impression on those in attendance.
It is up to you to decide.
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