No matter what position you’re in or what industry, learning the art of the perfect pitch is vital to success.
A pitch can take many different forms, and often, the most important pitches you’ll deliver are ones you don’t think are that important. Whether presenting an assignment at uni, attending a job interview or in everyday conversation, pitching is crucial for getting other people’s support for an idea in order to create action.
So, how do you develop and present a pitch that will inspire your audience to jump on board with your ideas and back your vision?
Write down the essence of your idea in a couple of sentences after considering these questions:
It’s important that you know how to communicate your pitch simply and clearly. To test this, deliver your pitch to someone outside your class or the industry you work to ensure it is easy for anyone to understand and that you’re not using jargon or industry speak. Ask for their feedback, because the more you can refine and perfect your pitch, the more powerful it will be.
There are two ways to share knowledge: you can push information out, or you can draw people in via story. People are more likely to engage with and remember information they receive via stories because “People get transformed and captivated by stories. Stories make people feel something, and when you make someone feel something, you cut through” (Daniel Flynn).
Draw your audience in with story by:
Make sure you know what you want from your audience so that if your pitch goes well, you’re prepared to ask for it.
Now that you’ve developed a strong pitch, it’s time to practice it over and over until you feel comfortable and natural delivering it. Presenting a pitch is a performance, and if you expect to feel nervous, practice will help you feel more confident on the day.
The first 90 seconds when you meet the people you are going to pitch to is often the most important, because this is when you’ll make your first impression and build a relationship. You can control what type of relationship you create with your audience by being warm, friendly and positive and taking the time to find common ground with them.
When delivering your pitch, keep it as short and concise as you can and stick to the point. It’s important to respect the time of the person or people you’re pitching to and to be able to read the room. If your audience starts looking at their watch, you may be taking too much time, so this is a sign you need to change your approach.
Don’t let the momentum created by delivering your pitch die. Follow up the day after your pitch to ensure you remain in their mind.
It’s ok if you don’t smash all your pitches. No matter how many times you pitch an idea, there will still be times when you don’t nail it. The important thing is to learn from the experience, continue to practice and refine your pitch, so you can win over the crowd next time you deliver it.