Whatever the context, there are a couple of elements that are vital when it comes to delivering a powerful pitch. In the age of customer centricity, increased digitization and stiff competition in the marketplace; it’s no longer sufficient to whip up a dry and informative presentation that’s littered with name dropping and solely focused on you.
In this article we’ll explore some techniques and top tips you can use to knock out a winning pitch.
You may have created some brilliant work and built up an impressive client portfolio. But while you can - and should! - mention your past successes, it’s not enough to simply rely on them to land a new gig.
At the end of the day, you’re trying to win over your audience by offering a solution to their problem. This requires you to delve deep into the world of your customer in order to be able to relate to their needs and frustrations. Research their industry, the dynamics of the marketplace and the strengths and weaknesses of their main competitors. You could even observe how they go about their daily tasks and discover the sorts of obstacles they deal with.
Based on everything you’ve learned, you’ll then come up with a game plan that addresses their pain points and helps them achieve their goals. Include any pitfalls you may encounter and how you’d navigate them.
See to it that your solution offers multiple benefits. For example, if you’re pitching an idea to build an e-commerce website for a business, this will not only generate more sales. It will also increase efficiency by reducing admin and freeing up time for employees to work on more important projects.
If you’re pitching to your own team, it’d be wise to get someone with some decision-making authority to back your presentation. Talk to them beforehand, tell them your plan and invite them to share their opinion. This way, you can get the lay of the land and you’ll gain your team’s trust by demonstrating that you’ve already considered some potential issues.
Build a personal connection with your audience at the beginning of your presentation. For instance, you can:
Seeking common ground and showing your human face is an effective way to build trust and make a favorable start.
Crafting a captivating story is a must. Since the dawn of time, we have always made sense of the world through stories. Myths, cautionary tales and even marketing narratives all serve one or more of the following purposes: they share info to explain, persuade or entertain.
As such, it’s important to create a compelling story that holds your audience’s undivided attention and validates your claim. Make it very clear why exactly they’d benefit most from your approach.
“The best idea does not always win.”
Additionally, a well-crafted narrative should inspire your listeners. You know you’re successful if you get the sense that your audience can barely contain their excitement. You want them to respond with: “Why did I not think of this?”
Outline your story according to a clear and familiar structure:
Once you’ve outlined the structure and content of your story, be sure to use the right visual aids to bring it to life in the minds of your listeners. Avoid stuffing your slides with words. Your audience can’t read and listen at the same time, so only make strategic use of words and images to underpin and enhance what you’re saying.
Familiarize yourself with your audience’s industry lingo. Talk in a language your listeners understand and refrain from confusing them with overly difficult terminology or long-winded explanations. If you need to clarify a concept, break it down with analogies and simple wording.
Ditch the details! Focus on your concept but don’t sort out all the nitty-gritty just yet. It’s important to leave some room so that you can adjust your approach based on the feedback you receive during your presentation. You can then perfect your solution and work out all the details in the next round.
Finally, be memorable! Whether you’re selling an idea to prospective clients or your own team, you’re still selling and that requires you to put on a memorable performance.
The best idea does not always win. Why is that? Having a vision and chemistry with the client matters. Enthusiasm is contagious so if you’re clearly elated to be showing off your idea, that’ll rub off on your audience. Amp up the charisma and tell a great story your audience will remember.
Another clever way to make an impression on your listeners is to absorb feedback and input throughout your presentation. Show that you value your audience’s point of view by smartly weaving some of that new information into your presentation. The flexibility to process new info and adjust your pitch on the spot will impress your audience and make you stand out.