Making a Perfect Pitch

A summary of insights from Stanley Sebastian in delivering the perfect pitch

Steve Jobs once said that your ideas are worth nothing if you don’t pitch them the right way. Through pitching, we can turn strangers into customers, attracting investment partners, and hiring new employees. That’s why pitching is vital to your success so it makes sense that you need to master it before you can launch a business.

How do you achieve the Perfect Pitch?

  1. Building Confidence

Everyone has their own anxiety, also in public speaking. But, you can do these three things: 

  • First things first, expect yourself to be nervous
  • Visualize success and the endgame
  • Always treat presentation as a conversation

According to Argyle et al, British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology (1971), our appearance accounts for 55% of our success. That includes gestures, movements, expressions, eye contact, clothing, and also props. So, be friendly! How? Pay attention to your body language! Things like open arms, palms up, palms on chest, folded arms, or hands closed must be considered deeply. We can become more confident when we have prepared things related to our pitch material and audience in advance. So, do background research on your audience; Understand who they are and why they are here; Try to understand their motivations/interests in your topic. We can also interact with the audience to avoid tension by always facing the audience while speaking, making eye contact as many times, and also using positive hand gestures. 

To be more confident, we must be the centre of attention. We need to remember that our deck is only a tool to achieve success. We are the boss of our deck. Make sure to adjust our intonation to grab the audience’s attention, interact more by asking questions to our audiences, and playing with our pacing, pausing, and voice tone.

2. Effective Communication

Effective Communication typically adheres to certain fundamental principles, namely

a. Clear
Your communication must be understandable, without jargon or unnecessary complexity, and also simple.

b. Concise
You need to make it very concise by communicating with fewer words.

c. Relevant
Your idea must be logical, organized, and principled, so you can help your listener to understand. 

d. Structured
Ensure communication is relevant to the audience, so you need to understand what is needed. 

One of the best techniques in public speaking to deliver your idea is storytelling. Stories can account for 65% of our speech per day. By using storytelling, you can activate tension, emotion, and trust of your audience. Storytelling is like we are bringing the audience into our car. What happens if we take them walking for days without telling us where we are going, or taking them around the same place again and again? That must be very torturous. For this reason, it’s important to make sure they know where we are going and how we can get them there. 

Five things that must be in the story are setting, characters, plot and climax, resolution, and end message. 

Afterall, you have just 7 seconds to grab your audience’s attention. That’s why your opening must be powerful. You can use some of this opening hook and look how your audiences react. 

  • Provocation “The next 6 minutes will change your life”
  • Imagination “I’d like you to imagine …”
  • Quoting “Bill Gates once said …” Participation “Can anybody tell me …”
  • Belief “I believe that every single person can do this ..”
  • Shocking fact “Did you know that 1 in 3 people are stressed?”
  • Asking question “Are you afraid to travel by plane?”
  • Tell a joke “A drunk man once told me …” Or just leap step forward, and do nothing 🙂 

3. Practicing Your Presentation

Solid Elevator Pitch is an essential tool for achieving your goals. An elevator pitch describes your business in a nutshell that can be delivered as a speech (ideally in 60 seconds or less), a pitch presentation, or as a one-page overview of your business. 

7 Key Components to Pitch a Perfect Elevator Pitch

  • Problem
  • Solution
  • Target Market
  • Competition
  • The Team
  • Financial Summary
  • Milestone

There are some tips and tricks for practicing your presentation effectively:

  • Change your environment for practice Video yourself while presenting to practice yourself
  • Research the venue, placement, screen, chairs, timekeeper
  • Engage in small talk everyday, slip in storytelling instead
  • Practice with the hustlers
  • When you went blank during presentations, avoid the “umm” filler, stay silent if needed
  • Practice makes perfect – presentation skills are not some talent you are born with, you earn it!

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