Does the thought of presenting make you feel nauseous? Don’t worry you’re not alone. But it doesn’t have to be a scary experience.
Here’s how you can pitch anything to anybody from a big promotion to an innovative idea.
Do your prep work
They key to a good pitch is practice. You should have memorised your content and be able to recite it confidently without sounding like a robot. A good trick is to practice your pitch in a noisy crowded place like a bus or metro station. If you can keep your train of thought there, a boardroom should be no problem.
Remember that the pitch starts before you speak
By the time you’ve begun your first slide or stand up to speak, the audience has already judged you. Your pitch starts as soon as you are in the room with them. Exert positive body language, offer everyone a warm welcome and feign confidence (even if you don’t feel it).
Get to the point…fast
It’s a well-known fact that the average human attention span is constantly shrinking. If you want to catch people’s attention then you will need to get to the point fast. Don’t go off on any tangents or try to grease the wheels with a hilarious anecdote. Be direct.
While some presentations are formal, others have more flexibility. Presenting your pitch as an emotive story can be much more appealing than a list of facts. Remember that anyone can look up your spreadsheets after the presentation. However, they need to be wowed during it.
Enthusiasm is contagious. If you want to get people on your side, you need to get them excited about your ideas. A good technique is to add about 50% more energy than you feel comfortable with. You’ve got to be willing to go out of your comfort zone.
Anticipate questions, and answer them ahead of time
Remember that a good offence is the best defence. Write down a list of potential questions that your audience might have and include their answers in your pitch. You’ll sound much more prepared that way.