Ever wonder what goes into the perfect pitch? Follow these three rules and you’ll be sure to impress at your next board meeting, investment opportunity or high-stakes conversation
By Ashley Denuzzo
Attention all business professionals: a pitch goes far beyond what you see on Dragon’s Den.
Delivering a pitch doesn’t mean standing in front of a panel of decision-makers. It doesn’t mean asking for an investment; it doesn’t even mean you’re an entrepreneur.
Simply put, a pitch means positioning your argument as effectively as possible so you can drive action, generate change and get the results you want.
When someone delivers the “perfect pitch”, you know it immediately. It’s easily recognizable and hard to forget.
Think of the perfect pitch in baseball. The ball is strategically thrown towards the catcher and avoids the swing of the bat. Or like a trained musician whose chords reach a transcendent pitch that makes good music become life-changing.
It’s the same with a sales pitch. You’re not exactly sure how your audience will react or whether they’ll buy into whatever you’re selling, but if you can deliver the “perfect pitch” you can’t be ignored. It’s memorable. It’s unforgettable.
The perfect pitch means breaking down the barriers of communication. It means making it easy for other people to identify what you’re selling, see the value and respect your approach. The perfect pitch eliminates all the buzzwords and clichés and get to the point quickly, memorably and strategically.
In essence, there are three core rules to pitching:
1. ALWAYS ADDRESS THE AUDIENCE’S NEEDS
Assess, Adapt, Apply! These three words should always burn in your mind the moment you learn you have to make a pitch.
By understanding your audience and stakeholder’s needs, you can identify the key areas of focus and tailor your content accordingly. This will help your audience better relate to your presentation.
Carefully consider your listener’s main questions and concerns. What might they be hesitant about? Why would they be reluctant to buy-in? Use this to fuel your pitch – make it impossible for them to say no!
Construct a strategy to not only analyze your stakeholder’s core concerns but also structure your message in order to effectively inform others.
2. ALWAYS STRUCTURE COMMUNICATION
Structured communication – what does that even mean? It’s taking control of the conversation; carefully deciding how you are going to present information in order to gain buy-in.
Are you trying to sell the benefits of an idea? Take it one step further by organizing your thoughts in a sequence that appears seamless and confident. Pluck the main points from your mind and present them in an order that is easy to comprehend.
Separate your best ideas and decide how to present them in pieces that are easily retained. When you have structure in your communication, people are more likely to remember what was said.
3. ALWAYS MAKE THE PRESENTATION A PERFORMANCE
The best presentations are lively, interactive and engage the audience.
Try simple presentation techniques that will make a stronger impact on your audience. Stand strong, move with purpose, speak with your hands, engage in eye contact and practice vocal inflection.
Adjust your pitch to a variety of settings, including one-on-one meetings, small groups, formal presentations, video conferencing and even conference calls. You’d be surprised how far great presentation skills can take you.
The perfect pitch exists – it’s up to you to make sure it happens. By addressing your audience’s needs, structuring the way you communicate your information and present with impact, you’ll ensure your next pitch impresses.
Of course, every polished presenter was once a beginner. If you find it challenging to start drafting your next pitch, turn to a proven process that will help you shatter barriers.
In Think on Your Feet® and The Skilled Presenter™ you will learn communications techniques that train you to structure ideas simple and persuasively, while also analyzing your audience and public speaking. These workshops will help you develop your skills so your next pitch will be perfect!