Over the years I discovered that these same Seven P’s also represent all aspects of business, life, theatre, political speeches, concerts, music, books and of course pitching and presenting.
Clients will NOT always remember every detail of my presentations or pitches BUT, having made thousands of pitches, the one thing I can always hope for is how they remember how the pitch made them feel.
Often clients are ‘pitched’ by multiple agencies, sometimes over every 4-5 days. They are also swamped by television commercials, articles, news, blog posts, statistics, and even personal family demands.
I just know that when I pitch or present, I have a limited amount of time to ensure they feel my passion, presence and authority on the topic. I always strive to spark emotion, involvement, change and evolution in their thinking.
Benjamin Franklin said it perfectly when he said ‘ Teach me and I forget. Involve me and I learn’.
It’s important to connect with people’s emotions, which means using melody, volume and tone when you speak. Think about it. Great singers can make people cry during sad songs and dance during happy songs. Your next speech or Presentation has to involve emotions as well.
Pitching ideas, business solutions, services, creative directions, strategies, etc. is usually a pretty high-stakes presentation. While different industries and circumstances dictate different formats for pitches, there are seven universal elements that every pitch should include – and they all begin with a P! They also leave a lasting impression by connecting to emotions.
My Seven P’s to Pitching:
1. PASSION. After being involved in thousands of pitches myself, and watching some of today’s best business leaders pitch, the most effective Business leaders and presenters have all developed a tone that conveys strength and power as well as concern.
They all inspire, motivate, have energy and evangelical zeal, that thrusts deeply into listeners hearts and not just their minds! These presenter know Passion persuades and the best presenters know how to ignite the Passion!
Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% about how you feel about what you know.” I couldn’t agree more. If you don’t love your ideas, how could you possibly expect others to? Passion is contagious; it’s engaging. If you feel it and embody complete buy-in, you’re much more likely to get your audience’s buy-in.
I have also read that in some studies over 90% plus of the impact on an audience comes from how it was said and the expertise of the person delivering the message!
Passion sells. Not fake passion but real, undeniable passion for the client, category or marketing in general. Passion is contagious and people eat it up. So send your most passionate presenters hen you pitch for new business. Treat the client like you’d treat any person on a first date! Remember, nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.
“People will never forget how you made them feel.”
2. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE – Before you go into an advertising pitch you need to practice. Rehearse until you feel confident about your pitch. Believe me, it’s an investment that pays dividends. Most pitches fail because agency people don’t take the time for rehearsal.
Always, tighten up your presentation, make cuts, ensure you have smooth transitions and even conduct a dress rehearsal in the actual presentation room if you can.
I have found, there’s no need to memorize a speech. I recommend, practicing so that you’re comfortable and you know where you’re going, then enjoy the ride. The best stuff will happen spontaneously. Leave room for it.
3. POLITICS – I have consistently witnessed in different Industries, different cities, countries – that when Accounts and Brands are being ‘pitched’ – you have to understand the importance of ‘politics’ involved in all Pitches and successful presentations. In fact, as a rule of thumb – I suggest that ‘politics’ can sway a decision by up to 20%. Chemistry, trust and experience can usually stay a decision. Even sometimes, unfairly and unjustified too.
4. PURPOSE – Every Speaker, or Team Leader of the Presentation Team should state the purpose for your meeting upfront. Today, more than any other time in history, business practices, purpose, principles and value have come under immense scrutiny and pressure. So you need to inspire everyone you are presenting so they’ll take action immediately.
Purpose drives everything in major decision-making. It is a key determining factor in how companies allocate resources, hire staff, plan for the future and determine their future efforts. Purpose importantly, helps attract even more value-based passionate people to your organization too.
Don’t leave that to chance. Unless it’s a formally designated Pitch event, don’t assume that every attendee has been informed as to why they’re in the room. Make sure you have listened to all the clients/brands employees, customers, vendor-partners, and ask them how they would want to be treated.
Always shoot for the moon. As the legendary Sam Walton stated ‘Believe it. High expectations are the key to everything’.
5. Problem. There’s always a challenge, a critical need, or a pain point. Be sure to address it concisely but vividly. Here, too, a story or a scenario can be helpful to illustrate the problem. If you’re pitching your business solution, then the client or potential client has outlined the problem for you – but be sure to restate it (ensuring that everyone’s on the same page) and even think beyond it, if possible, to consequences the client may not have anticipated.
6. Potential. The solutions you are offering must have potential opportunity and deliver value. You will need to capture this and be able to put some meat on the bones when you talk about that potential. Is there a time or money value associated with it? Is there a market of targeted or potential users or customers? Can you offer an educated prediction of what the five-year horizon would look like?
7. Personality Profiling. Always know your audience before you start pitching, find out who they are and what kind of perspective they want. Prepare a “Listener Analysis’, by finding out and addressing the specific needs and data required by your target audience. Specifically, find out what ideas, words, examples or facts connect that will resonate with your audience. This will ensure you deliver the most convincing and persuasive speech/presentation. Here is my indicative ‘Listener Analysis’ Example:
- Are the key or final decision-makers in the room?
- Who are the key influencers that will impact the decision-makers in the room or meeting?
- Are they prepared to act TODAY?
- What exactly do they want or need now
- What are the key points in this speech/presentation with which they must be in agreement?
- What excites them or hits their ‘hot spots or sweet spots’?
- Whose opinions do they currently respect and listen to?
- What do they currently feel about my company, my subject or me?
- Have I accommodated the ‘politics’ in the meeting?
Conclusion – The most engaging presentations I have attended and been involved in over the years also have all had these three elements: Novelty, emotion and have been highly memorable. I think the best presentations and pitches present ideas and materials that simply can’t be forgotten and teach you something new.
More About Geoff De Weaver:
Since 1985, Geoff has helped pioneer the use of inbound/outbound marketing, content marketing strategies, digital and social media marketing specifically for agency new business.
Geoff can also access hard to reach brands and clients, fully examine and target your exact needs and requirements in all channels. I can even pitch on your behalf and happily be the extension to your company’s new business team.
Give me a call and let me show you a better way, +61 411 224 961 or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org