Welcome to the first post in a series of six for students learning how to be better at pitching their ideas.
In the coming weeks, you can read posts on how to use storytelling and other elements for exciting and capturing your audience, why you need to use dialogue (and how), or how you overcome stage fright. You will learn about the value of receiving and giving feedback in a constructive way, and in all the articles you will find concrete exercises, good advice, and examples, that will help you on your way.
For starters, you can read this first post explaining what a great pitch consists of.
So, what is a pitch really?
When you are pitching, it’s about sharing your knowledge in the most precise way possible and in a short amount of time. It could be in an exam situation, or if you just have this great idea, that has to be explained to somebody else than your pet or parents. But too often, all the good work isn’t presented in a proper way, that makes your audience take notice of your message or helps them remember what you just told them. What a waste!
Mastering the art of pitching can help you with that. As a technique, it transforms what you want to say into a straight-forward “need-to-know” version, that gives your audience a good starting point for entering a dialogue with you afterward. Thus, a pitch is an oral presentation that consists of two parts. Content and performance. Speaking of content, it’s about not taking up too much time saying, what you want to say, and more importantly, that the things you say are said in the right order and in a clear, concise way. To help you practice this we made you a digital pitch-training tool, that you can find here.
About those pants…
Presenting your content the right way is closely associated with the very form of the pitch. Remember, the way you present and your body language can also be a very important element of your pitch. When you step on onto the stage, be it your classroom or an actual stage, you need to be aware of your performance, in order to make what you say interesting to your listeners. Try to surprise them one way or another so that they remember, what you pitched, and feel engaged in your project. If that means you have to pull down your pants to make a case, so be it… or you could just try to convince them another way using other kinds of props.
There are many good pieces of advice on how you build in a great WOW-effect in your performance, and at least as many things you have to avoid not to make your audience fall asleep or wish they could jump out the window, escaping over the parking lot. We will dig deeper into these in the next couple of articles.
With that said, one of the first roads to improve your pitch is to take advantage of storytelling. Read more on the subject in the next article, which will be ready for you on Friday 17 of February.