Pitching ….. is a must have skill for today’s creative practitioner. Pitching is more than giving a presentation and informing your audience, its persuasive and builds your audiences trust, understanding and confidence in you, your ideas or product .
You will deliver pitches throughout your professional life. Whether you are presenting your latest concept to clients, seeking funding for your business or project, engaging a team of colleagues or connecting with new audiences and networks your ability to pitch will be an essential element to your professional success.
Part of great pitching is being really clear about your pitch’s purpose and writing a great script to tell your story. The other key ingredient is to truly engage with your audience. Having a clear understanding about who your audiences are, will help you to shape an approach to your pitch that will say something of value to them and if they value it, they will remember it and they will want to engage with you.
The king of all pitching is the late Steve Jobs. He knew his audiences inside out, he knew what they valued and wanted. This enable him to pitch to his audiences in a concise and simple way and as a result his pitching style is highly persuasive and engaging. This YouTube clip is a great example of Steve Jobs in action:http://youtu.be/F9E2JCtWzk8
Remember,by successfully engaging your audience, it is likely that they want to continue to communicate with you. Jon Steel, in his book ‘Perfect Pitch’ suggests that as presenter, achieving participation from your audience can be highly advantageous to your pitching style:
“better presentations, take on the form of a question mark. They signal the start of a new thought: an invitation, a challenge to the audience to get involved, to bring something of themselves to your communication. They are going to do it anyhow, so why not make it work for you?…you should aim to make your audience willing accomplices in your presentation.”
So, the next time that you are asked to pitch and before you launch into your PowerPoint and get lost in the animation toolkit, do your research, understand your audience needs and consider how you are going to get the conversation started with them…..
Here are my top 4 tips to get you started:
- Keep it simple – great pitches are short and to the point and have a clear message.
- Tell your story from problem to solution, think like a movie director, make sure your pitch has a definite start, middle and end.
- Involve your audience when you can. Have a memorable reveal moment that surprises your audience and keeps them connected to your core message.
- Great pitches will encourage great questions, so have great answers prepared.
Want to find out more about pitches….
- Life’s a Pitch Stephen Bayley & Roger Mavity. Bantam Press 2007
- Perfect Pitch Jon Steel. Wiley 2007
- How to be an illustrator Darrel Rees 2008