Everyone knows the value of their own ideas, but getting a prospective client or boss behind them can be tricky. It’s worth noting though that no matter which person you’re pitching to, the same communication skills will help you achieve your desired outcomes. Here are some ways to increase your pitching skills.
If you’re one of the 74 percent of the population that admit to being nervous speakers, here are some tips for honing your presentation skills.
Do Your Homework
Preparing yourself ahead of time will give you a psychological edge and help impress the person you’re pitching to. Preliminary research can help show the merit of your ideas. If it’s appropriate for your field, it’s also smart to present visual aids to help your boss or client picture your concept. For example, if you’re a designer you might present simple wireframes or sketches during your pitch.
Conducting thorough research before your pitch will also help you address any questions that your boss or prospective client might pose. Knowledgably answering these questions will tell your boss or prospective client that you understand your concept and have really thought it through. In turn, this will help them feel confident in backing your idea.
Speak From the Heart
No matter who your audience is, you should speak from the heart. Genuine passion for your potential project is more impressive than any bells and whistles you introduce during your pitch. It’s easy for novice pitchers to get hung up on flashy demonstrations, but a pitch with heart is generally much more persuasive. If you feel positive about your ideas and can communicate that positivity effectively, it’s likely that your boss or client will feel the same way.
Keep it Short and Sweet
Bosses and clients are busy people, so it’s important that you keep your pitches for both short and sweet. Experts suggest you’ll have a minute, at most, to talk to one of these important people before a colleague or phone call interrupts you. If you haven’t grabbed your audience by then, they’re likely to move on to more pressing matters. So it’s worth practicing your pitch to make sure you address key points and arguments within this short time frame.
Once you’ve grabbed their attention, you can expand on your ideas, confident in the knowledge that they’re interested in what you have to say.
Rather than stressing about whom you’re pitching to, your energy would be better spent honing your pitching skills. Then you’ll be ready to speak to anyone in your professional sphere. Interested in more formal communications training? Consider a Master of Science in Communication!