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I am sure it happened to you during a networking event. Someone asks you what you do. Do you find this difficult and you start to stammer because you do not know what to say?
Then it is might be useful to have a good pitch. In this article I’ll explain the importance of a good pitch and I tell you how to make one. Finally, I have a few more tips for you on how to have a perfect pitch.
A pitch is a short and concise presentation of yourself and how you help people. The goal is that people will remember you and engage in a conversation with you. A good pitch can help others introduce you into their network. This way, you can find a new job, clients, business partners, followers, employees, investors or friends.
I pitch for some time now and I have only recently learned that my pitch does not apply is for all networking occasions(ALSO READ: How do you get more out of your network events? )Sometimes you need different pitches for a network event, when meeting a potential client, during a presentation or at a parent evening at school.
Now, how do you make a good pitch? Make sure your pitch answers the following questions:
Who is your target audience?
First, you need to know what your target (goal) is and who your target audience is. Who do you help? If you don’t know exactly who your target audience is then you can ask yourself with whom you would like to work with. Try to be as specific as possible.
I help engineers who have a management position.
Your target audience might be clear now. Perhaps they are contractors, homeowners or architects. The next question to be answered in your pitch is: Why you help those people? What do you believe in and what problem do you solve for your target audience?
I believe that engineers have an important role in this world because they contribute to solutions to environmental and sustainability (and their consequences) problems. This calls for leadership- and communication skills. I have seen brilliant engineers struggling with this.
Who are you?
Now you have to make it clear why YOU are the best person to help your target audience. Tell them what makes you unique.
I have worked for 15 years at an international engineering company as a project manager and a head of a department for which I have lived abroad.
Since 2014, I am a professional coach and I am always learning new techniques and I regularly follow courses and training’s to give more value to my customers.
How do you help?
Next you show how you help your target audience and where you bring them.
I am a practical engineer, coach & trainer and in simple steps, I support engineers with their challenges and questions about how they can shape their leadership in their career and in their personal life. The result are engineers who communicate well, have purpose, target oriented, self-assured and use their core qualities.
What is your Question?
End with a question. This way, you give the other a chance to respond to your pitch. If you are not sure what to ask then I have a few examples below:
- What resonates in my story?
- Do you want this as well?
- To what extent do you recognize this or does it occur in your organization?
Even better is to start your pitch with a question. Then you immediately get the attention!
- What do you have trouble with in your work?
- What do you want to achieve this year?
- What do you want to learn?
If the answer is something very different from your standard pitch then you can adjust it or give your conversation a different twist.
For example, if the answer is that the other person is having trouble with all the new tasks he or she has to do, I could offer a productivity training. But if he/she is struggling to find a home on the housing market, I could recommend a real estate agent or a financial adviser within my network.
Also ask the other person whether he or she can recommend you to someone in his or her network. Make sure you get a name or set an appointment on the spot.
From Good to Perfect
If you stick to the above framework, you will have a good basis for a catchy pitch. To make it a Perfect pitch, then I have the following tips For you:
- Be authentic
Undoubtedly, you have heard this before. But it’s important that you are yourself and that you have fun in what you do and that you demonstrate this. That means that you’ll have to know and accept yourself. Sooner or later your partner will find out whether you are genuinely authentic or not. That can be tricky once you do business.
Below, is some advice to help you to be and stay authentic.
- Be honest
Especially if you are nervous or if you have forgotten your text. People will understand it and show compassion more when you tell them. Also, inform the other party if pitch for the very first time.
- Learn your pitch by heart
Don’t read your pitch from a piece of paper. If you know your pitch by heart, then you keep (eye) contact with the other person and you’ll notice sooner whether he/she is interested or not in what you’re saying. You can adjust your pitch if necessary. It’s easier to stay connected.
- Be clear
Make sure you talk loud and clearly. Definitely not too soft. You can always check this by asking.
- Be quiet
Keep your sentences short and take a break occasionally. A silence is not bad at all. You give the other person the time to adsorb all the information. Also, a silence is a good way to get attention (back).
Practice your pitch in front of a mirror or record it. You can also practice your pitch with your friends, partner or colleagues. First of all, this is safe because you are among with people you know well. And secondly, it will get easier if you practice more often. In addition, you can also ask for valuable feedback. I can also help you with this.
- Give examples
If the conversation goes well, you can give an example. I could give an example of a client who met a potential customer in the elevator. With the help of a good pitch he managed acquire a large project. If you have a product, demonstrate it!
Your posture should be good. So stand straight and firm on your two legs. Don’t lean against something. People might consider this as being uninterested and somewhat weak. Keep eye contact and occasionally lean forward. If you sit, keep your back straight as well and your arms above the table.
What should you do with your hands? If you put your hands in your pockets, people might consider this careless or condescending. You might appear closed if cross your arms. And if you keep your hands behind you, people can wonder if you hide something behind your back. My tip: Keep something in your hands, a pen, a brochure or a business card. Move occasionally. You are not in the military. I also notice that people find it pleasant when I open my hands with my palms forward. That gives a feeling that people are welcome and that they are accepted.
- Feel good
Before I pitch, train or coach, I take some time for myself. I use it to focus, to ground or to center. Sometimes I stand in front of a mirror and I put my hands in the air while saying that I feel good and that I like myself. Tony Robbins calls this “Priming”. What are other ways to feel good? For example if you wear beautiful and comfortable clothes. Oh, and smile! 🙂
Perhaps this is the most important. It is about the other person, not about you! So listen (ALSO READ: 7 ways to listen better) to what he or she says. People like it to be heard and especially if you refer back to what has been said in your pitch. This way they will even better remember you and recommend you in their network.
And now, Get STARTED
Make a pitch and practice it! Let me know how that went, what helped you from this article and what tips you have to pitch perfect. You can write in the comment box below. I for sure, look forward to read from you!
If you would like to receive one on one support from me on making your perfect pitch. Please contact me! I can help you by phone or Skype as well.
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