A pitch ain’t one

Earlier this year, Pario Consulting, held a training session called, “99 problems but a pitch ain’t one”. It was an interactive session where attendees learned and put into practice some winning hints and tips to take the stress out of pitches and client presentations.

Here’s what was included:

Step One – The Plan
Taking the time to properly plan is the most important part of preparing for any presentation.

You should always:

  • Make sure you understand the full brief and any client requirements;
  • Be 100% clear on your offer;
  • Know your key decision-makers; and
  • Get to know who you are pitching to and what their individual drivers are.

With this information, you can then plan what you are going to say during your presentation. A simple and easy technique for reinforcing key messages in presentations is the Triangle. The Triangle is a skill that allows you to structure content concisely for a short talk, update or introduction. It is based on Aristotle’s philosophy: tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them.

Create and it will make you look prepared and thoughtful with every presentation.
It takes minimal time to. Most importantly, your audience will remember your key points. It’s all about the rule of three.

Here’s the process:

  • Draw a triangle and write the topic in the centre;
  • At each point of the triangle, write one of your three key messages about the topic;
  • When you introduce the topic, list the three key messages you will deliver;
  • Talk through each of the three key messages; and
  • To close, repeat the topic and the three key messages.

Step Two – Polish
Once you know what to say, you can start to practise within your team.

Identify and play to the strengths individually within your team, and make sure everyone is comfortable with the role that they are playing.

Practice makes perfect! So, aim to practise at least three times before the big day. It will help you to iron out any blips, and also get comfortable with your content. Everyone will feel more confident after a few run throughs.

To quote Jay-Z, “I’ve got 99 problems but a pitch ain’t one”.

Step Three – Deliver
It’s time for the big day! All of your hard work is ready to be put into practice, and at this point you will be fully prepared and ready to shine.

Remember you should:

Make A Connection with Your Audience Through Eye Contact
Making good eye contact has many benefits. You will look and feel more confident and appear more credible aswell as trustworthy. Because you’re not taking in extra visual information you have a clear thinning process and are able to give your all to the conversation or presentation. Making eye contact, therefore, makes it easier for you to focus on exactly what you want to say. Most importantly, when you use good eye contact, you connect with the people in your audience.

Learn to Remain Still
When running a meeting or holding a presentation, there is nothing wrong with moving around a little, but you need to ensure the movement has a purpose. Unnecessary weight shifting or pacing makes you look nervous. If you want to remain focuses and avoid shifting, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your weight evenly balanced. It’s actually skillful to be able to stand still and not move.

Put Your Best-Self Forward and Be Energetic
An important element of giving a compelling presentation is volume. On a scale of 1–10, with 1 being a whisper and 10 being a shout, remember that your goal is to stay at a 7 or an 8. Giving your volume at this level isn’t just about your audience been able to hear you. An increased volume translates as increased energy and passion for what you are talking about. It will also help with inflexion and add animation to your face and gestures. Volume is a really simple and quick way to bring your personality to the foreground and keep your audience engaged.