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:




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

Engage, Connect, Succeed.

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