If you are a business owner or sales professional looking to win more business and pitch more confidently, then take a look at these key skills which will help you to achieve a positive result.
Pitching isn’t easy to get right, it takes time and effort – formal training will make a huge difference but from then on, it’s the preparation and practice before every business opportunity that will keep you winning clients or investors.
There is a lot to consider when it comes to refining and polishing your approach so here’s what you need to know to get started
6 Key Areas Of Pitch Training
Research; make sure you find out as much as you can about the client; their industry and specific requirements. This knowledge will enable you to adapt your approach and will make you stand out from the start.
Tailoring; do you need to present an off-the-shelf product or do you need to show that you can shape your offering to the client’s need?
Benefits; make sure you can explain the positive difference your product can make to the client – don’t just list its features.
Proof; back-up what you say about yourself/your product with; evidence, statistics, illustration and client testimonials – without this proof, the client may wonder if you can really deliver.
Key message; have a very clear idea of your main idea or the call to action and don’t be afraid to repeat it.
- Body language; this covers various areas and each needs to be considered in terms of the non-verbal communication it gives the audience:
- Hand gestures
- Eye contact
- Presenting sitting down versus standing
This is the only way that the content will sink in and the more you practice, the more confidence you will have. Ideally do this on camera or in front of colleagues so you can get feedback.
Slides:Don’t overload slides with too much information – some of the best presenters cut out text and only use pictures.
Speakers notes; don’t feel you need to memorise the entire pitch as it’s acceptable to use a few note cards to make sure you are on track – keep them to a few bullets each and don’t use it as a script to read from.
Leave-behinds; it can be useful to provide additional information in an appendix or hand-out for the end – don’t feel you have to put everything in the main presentation.
Managing; some people are happy to take questions during the presentation, others prefer to leave them till the end – decide which you will do and explain this to the client at the start.
Negatives; don’t just hope that difficult question won’t come up – list all the tricky things you could be asked and make sure you can handle them if they arise.
Handovers; if you are presenting as a team, make sure you decide who will answer which subjects in advance – this will help to show you are a team that can work effectively together.
The key areas above are a great starting point to get you thinking about how to develop and improve your pitching strategy and we would always advise brushing up on your soft skills to aid your pitch delivery.
We wanted to share this article in the Guardian with you as it has some really helpful advice on pitching from the advertising agency world– definitely worth a read. He’s still considered a leader in pitching and presenting, here are some lessons you can learn from Steve Jobs .
We offer a whole range of media training services including tailored pitch and presentation training .
Will Edwards, Director