There are already plenty of articles about the perfect pitch structure, so I won’t waste your time there. Instead I will talk about some principals which you should take into consideration when pitching and presenting to people. These principals apply always – unlike pitch content and structure, which you should tailor according to your audience.
People imitate your feelings
It takes just a quick glance for people to evaluate you when they see you for the first time. You only have one chance to make a good impression, so make it count. The way you present yourself has everything to do with how your audience will perceive your message. Study of mirror neurons have shown that people imitate emotions and feelings. Findings suggest that when you are passionate about your topic your audience will be passionate also. So the next time you pitch, consider what mood you want your audience to be in.
Words account for only 7%
Professor Albert Mehrabian’s 7% – 38% – 55% rule states that there are three elements that affect our liking for the person speaking. Words account for 7%, tone of voice accounts for 38%, and body language accounts for 55%. It must be noted that Mehrabian’s findings were based only on communications of feelings and attitudes but most likely they can be at least partially applied to other communications also.
So it might very well be that people will more likely believe a poor argument presented in a convincing matter than one based on sound logic but presented by someone who sounds unconvinced or uninterested.
Repetition and storytelling
Tell a story that is concise and easy to repeat. If people resonate with your story they will want to tell it to their friends, but only if it is easy to repeat. The best way to make a story easy-to-repeat is when the audience can relate to it.
One good example of repetition is to start of by telling the people what you are going to tell them and finish by repeating what you just told them. I always ask myself this question to help me focus ”If my audience was to remember only one thing from my presentation, what would it be?”
Only practice makes you better
Most pitches suck but luckily there is a simple way of making them better – PRACTICE. First concentrate on your delivery and only after then worry about your pitch content and structure. Remember, you are the most important part of your presentation!
What are the most important things or techniques that have improved your pitching skills? Please share them in the comments below and lets collaboratively make all of our pitches a little better!
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