Delivering a pitch, even a quick one, is not an easy task for most people but it’s a worthy art form to master and, fortunately, the only thing it requires is practice. For most people public speaking doesn’t come naturally. The following five tips are designed to assist you in delivering effective pitches for your services regardless of your industry.
1. Make it Personal
Quality pitches engage the listener by telling a story. Your audience should be genuinely interested in your presentation and, by telling a story, they become invested in the outcome. If you first hook them with a compelling story, including yourself at the center, you’ll pique their interest, which means you’re far more likely to be successful in closing that deal than if you simply deliver them a pitch that systematically recounts your offerings.
So how do you develop a good story? To what writing pros have been doing for centuries, create a storyline that follows the hero’s journey. This is a story layout found in every story told. The basics of the hero’s journey plot is as follows:
- The hero starts off happy
- Then the hero faces a hardship
- Then the hero overcomes the hardship
- And, finally, the hero is happy again but because their experience changed them.
By building your story with this structure, you’re much more likely to get & maintain your audience’s attention because now they’re invest in your outcome and thus, invested in you.
2. Explain the Risks & Rewards
Do an analysis of risk-reward and be both up-front and direct. Being transparent will build trust with your audience and give them the opportunity to make an informed decision about whether they want to work with you or not. This is your opportunity to show them you understand the challenges they face and show them the solutions you offer to overcome those challenges.
3. Explain the Solutions You’re Offering
You’re the problem solver so you’re there to help. This is why it’s crucial to make perfectly clear exactly how you’re going to help them overcome their challenges and the precise outcome you’re offering. Change is difficult for anyone so your audience may be hesitant to follow through with the solutions you’re offering unless they understand the results they’ll receive up-front.
This is a great opportunity to use those storytelling skills you’ve learned. You can show them how you are going to help them overcome those challenges and the obstacles they may face. Use metaphors, use imagery and data charts to verify your claims so they can envision the relief your offering. This is where you can have your audience literally eating-out-of-the-palm-of-your-hand … if you do it right.
4. Why are you Different from Your Competitors?
Make your pitch unique! Remember, they have likely heard so many similar pitches that they might have preconceived notions the moment you start your presentation. Instead of starting like everyone else, start in a unique way that gives them something new to think about and so that they immediately think, “Okay, this is different”.
This will make them see you as indispensable to their success. Show them why you’re needed and why nobody else can do what you do. Build this up and integrate it into your story by setting up the beginning in a unique, personal way. Then tie it into the solutions you offer. Now they can see how your experience and your qualities bring something new to the table.
5. Always Keep your Audience Front & Center
Remember, you’re talking to real human beings. People love to be entertained, so reciting lines you’ve practiced and delivering boring data points is not going to win them over.
One of the best ways to connect is making eye contact and responding appropriately to their facial expressions. If someone acts surprised, respond with something like, “That’s surprising, right?” If someone looks displeased, you could say, “I know it’s not pleasant to hear, so this is what we’ll do.” By reacting appropriately to their moods, you’ll keep them engaged, which means they’ll stay with you until the end of your pitch, greatly increasing your odds of making that sale or closing that deal.