On the latest episode of the Presentation Fix podcast, Dave Duarte, Andile Masuku and I delved into what it takes to craft and deliver the perfect business pitch. In case you missed it, be sure to check it out in the player below:
One of the tips Dave shared in our conversation with him is the importance of keeping your audience’s interests at the forefront of your thinking during the preparation and delivery of your pitch. P-I-T-C-H is a useful acronym to help you remember the importance of this principle.
All your efforts in preparing for a great pitch must be based on an informed assessment of your client’s needs, i.e. having a clear picture of what’s in your client’s head. This will require that you to build personal relationships with the people you plan to pitch— enabling you to do research in terms of understanding their business, familiarise yourself with the power dynamics of their organisational landscape, and ultimately address their pain points.
Indeed, an audience-oriented presentation is key to meeting your business outcomes. And while that may sound obvious, it’s quite surprising how many people find it difficult to focus on clearly articulating how the solutions they are pitching will address the issues their audience face. That’s especially tough to do when you’re anxious to secure buy-in or close a big deal.
Keeping the picture in the client’s head in clear focus when preparing and delivering a pitch is one thing. However, just as important is realising that as a presenter you have a significant role to play in terms of shaping the picture in the client’s head. Think of yourself as a talented Photoshop editor applying much-needed touch-ups to an otherwise bland image.
Here are two quick tips to aid your mission:
1) Hook your audience by adopting an inspiring vocal approach.
You need to realise that how you say things is often just as important as what you say— in some cases more so. Research shows that a person’s vocal quality significantly contributes to the impact they make as a speaker, and that audiences are always far more likely to respond positively and be influenced by a speaker who demonstrates enthusiasm and passion for the subject. Time spent improving your vocal delivery is always a worthwhile investment.
2) Mind your image.
How nervous would you get if you caught a glimpse of your cardiologist dressed for the golf course moments before putting you under to perform heart surgery on you? Chances are that this might make you a tad uncomfortable.
Successful business pitches rely not only on how your message is crafted and how expressive your voice is, but also on your ability to gain people’s trust. Your mission is to assure your audience of your competency to solve their problems. Earning credibility can also be achieved by presenting an aspirational image which your audience can confidently buy into.
That’s where dressing the part and using positive body language come into the picture. You may just want to consider updating your wardrobe, getting complete image makeover, and getting guidance on how to enhance your delivery style.