Gone are the days of long presentations and meetings. The pitch, a short speech of about five minutes, has taken over. In a matter of minutes, convey your message clearly and capture the interest of your audience. The pitch may seem like a difficult art to learn, but you already have the potential to become a true pitch master. So how do you unlock your potential and achieve real results? Here are 5 tips for your pitch.
#1 Use PowerPoint as a basis
Michelle de Bruijn suggests building the PowerPoint presentation for your pitch using post-its. “When you create your presentation, you usually start with a blank PowerPoint slide. Then the staring contest begins: Where do you start? It’s more efficient to write your pitch on post-its and hang them on a wall. That way, you build your presentation and easily switch between topics as you see the points right in front of you. It also forces you to express exactly what each slide is about.”
The fact that you work in a concise manner should be reflected in your PowerPoint. “Using too much text in your visuals distracts attention from you and your story,” she says. “Can you get your message across in your presentation using just one image? Do it!” “Many people want to be comprehensive in a pitch, but it is not necessary. A pitch is not a monologue; it is the start of a dialogue. The important thing is to get to the core quickly and persuade others to join a conversation with you ” says Nathalie Mangelaars, who is the founder of the company PitchQueen.
#2 Maintain attention
You have about 8 seconds before the audience’s attention starts to wane. It can be effective to start your pitch with a question. However, think carefully about the type of question you ask. When addressing a large audience, open-ended questions are often less effective. A closed question with the option to raise your hand ensures that everyone is immediately engaged.
“A visual start can be a good icebreaker. It grabs attention and makes people want to listen to you. It requires a little more creativity, but can be very effective,” says de Bruijn.
#3 Know your target audience
In order to capture the audience’s attention and maintain it, it is important that you know your target group. What are their needs, wants and interests? What are their expectations of you and your pitch?
“It’s important to understand who you’re talking to. What’s their background? How will your product or service benefit them?” says Mangelaars. “Think about what language they speak and how you can communicate in a way that appeals to them.”
As preparation, it may be a good idea to research the target group and their needs. You can also use this knowledge to customize your pitch and include relevant examples or stories that will appeal to your audience.
#4 Tell a story
A good pitch tells a story that is easy to follow and understand. It helps engage the audience and creates an emotional connection to your message.
“A pitch has to tell a story. It’s not enough to present data and facts. You have to create an emotional connection with your audience,” says de Bruijn. “How will your product or service benefit them? Tell a story about how your product or service has helped other people. Use examples and case studies to illustrate your point.”
#5 End with a clear outline for an action
Your pitch should end with a clear call to action. What do you want the audience to do? How can they get in touch with you?
“It is important to be very specific and clear in your presentation of the desired action. If you want the audience to sign up for a service or product, you must give them clear instructions on how to do it,” says Mangelaars.
End your pitch with a strong and compelling sentence that summarizes your message and calls the audience to action.
Ultimately, it’s about creating an emotional connection with your audience, communicating your message clearly and engaging them in a way that makes them want to take action. With these tips in mind, you are well on your way to becoming a great pitcher!