Change Your Mindset!

 

Sometimes it feels like pitching is akin to begging.

It shouldn’t and here’s why: at the end of a successful pitch both parties should come away with something they want and need.

If that’s so, then why does it feel like there’s an imbalance of power favouring the Decision Maker?  Why do pitchers often feel like they’re pleading?

It’s all about mindset.

A traditional definition of a pitch is “a concise presentation of an idea intended to attract development financing or support.”

Note the use of the word “attract”, not ask, not demand.  But here’s a definition that better captures the essence of the process:

“Igniting interest and passion for an idea by connecting with another person through an emotionally engaging story.”

 

The goal of the pitch is not to change the mind of the Decision Maker or convince them to commit to the project.  The goal is to ignite interest and passion.

The mindset is no longer: “Me vs. You”, now it’s: “I think this is amazing and here’s why…”.

It’s positive and persuasive.

If you can spark passion in the Decision Maker they’ll start seeing solutions, not problems.  Once they’ve been captivated by your vision, they’ll move heaven and earth to make your project happen.

This definition also reveals how to connect with the Decision Maker: “through an emotionally engaging story”.  If you can tell a compelling story that engages the emotions of your audience, you’re on the road to success.

Change your mindset.  Remember: your project can help the Decision Maker achieve their goals.  That’s a win-win.

Share your passion for your project and good things will happen.

Kevin Wright

Don’t Fear the Pitch!

Tactics to Manage Performance Anxiety

 

Do you like speaking in front of people?

Do you like being the centre of attention?

Many would answer an emphatic “No!” to both questions.  Unfortunately, pitching involves putting oneself out there, in a big way.  Pitching is Performing, there’s no way around it.

It reminds me of that Seinfeld joke: apparently people’s number one fear is speaking in public.  Number two is dying.  This means at a funeral most people would rather be in the casket than delivering the eulogy!

So, what is performance anxiety and how do we manage it?

Symptoms include dry mouth, tight throat, clammy hands, trembling, perspiration, and nervous laughing.

There are effective tactics that can help us manage this stress and to perform better.  They can be placed into two categories:

1)  PHYSICAL

2)  MENTAL

 

Physical Tactics:  Slow deep breathing and stretching in advance will help burn off physical energy, increase oxygen to your brain and release positive endorphins.  During the pitch, speak slowly, force yourself to smile, make eye contact and remember to take frequent pauses to gather yourself and stay relaxed.

Mental Tactics: Don’t think of your nervousness as a harbinger of failure.  It represents an internal energy that can be harnessed to sharpen your focus and help make  your delivery more emphatic.

Build confidence by honing your pitch well in advance.  Practice, practice, practice.  Rehearse your pitch until you’ve internalized it and you can deliver it naturally.

Remember:  Decision Makers are looking for good projects and creative people to deliver them.  They really want you to succeed.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Pitch!

Kevin Wright

THE OPTIMAL PITCH
Engage, Connect, Succeed.

Road Test Your Pitch!

How do you know if your pitch is working?

Is it engaging?  Will it connect with the Decision Maker?

Help!!!

A successful pitch always puts its audience first.

How do you do that?  Easy: road test your pitch!  Do a dress rehearsal before you pitch your project in front of a Decision Maker.  In fact, take your pitch out on the road as often as you can.

Deliver your pitch to friends, family, colleagues…anyone who will listen.  Watch their reactions closely as your pitch unfolds.

Do they look captivated?  Bored?  Confused?  Ask them which parts of your pitch didn’t make sense to them.  Which parts were too long?  Too short?

You derive a double benefit from these informal rehearsals:

  1. You get valuable feedback to improve and hone your pitch;
  2. You get to practice your pitch, internalizing it and making it more natural.

Embrace the feedback!  Everyone may have a different opinion, but take note if the same concerns keep coming up.  Now is the time to modify your pitch; make it stronger, leaner, more impactful.

Don’t be afraid to Road Test Your Pitch to take it to the next level!

Kevin Wright

Pitching: Top 10 Tips

You’ve finally got a meeting with a Decision Maker!  Congrats!  Now, make the most of your opportunity and deliver The Optimal Pitch by following these ten tips:

10 – KNOW YOUR TARGET – Who is your primary audience?

9 – DO YOUR RESEARCH – Know the Decision Maker’s needs and concerns.

8 – BE PREPARED – Know your content and anticipate questions.

7 – DON’T WASTE TIME – Hone and practice your pitch until it is concise and persuasive.

6 – LISTEN – To any feedback offered, register and adjust your pitch.

5 – BE FLEXIBLE – Be able to relay the key elements of your pitch in whatever time is available.

4 – DON’T ARGUE – It’s not a debate: acknowledge concerns, solve problems.

3 – BE COLLABORATIVE – Involve the Decision Maker, make it a true dialogue.

2 – BE BOLD – Take risks, be different, be original.

1 – NEVER PITCH IN A WASHROOM – Just no.

Good Luck!

Kevin Wright

Banff 101: How to Deliver the Optimal Pitch

How to make the most of your time with a Decision Maker?

Find out at my upcoming session: “Banff 101: How to Deliver the Optimal Pitch” Sunday June 10th at 1:30 PM Cascade Room, Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.