Saturday, July 22

Art of Pitching, Presenting, and Speaking

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Pitching ideas, presenting speeches or speaking to a client involve good communication skills, which are critical in today’s world. Communication skills are an asset that can be used best to our advantage in a fiercely competitive marketplace. It is interesting to note that in a list of top 10 fears in the world, fear of public speaking ranks at the top of the list, above fear of death and financial ruin. Nonetheless, there is a great need for professionals with powerful presentation and communication skills across the world.

Experts are of the opinion that the ability to make an effective presentation and communicate clearly is important for individuals in every field. We talk to clients and try to influence the outcomes of business meetings. Hence, pitching, presenting and speaking are critical. Poor communication skills can spell doom for a business. Presenting and speaking in front of an audience is undoubtedly difficult. But, the success in such endeavors depends on how well we prepare for such an event. Before preparing a draft of the speech, the prospective speaker should research the topic comprehensively and research his target audience deeply. If this can be accomplished, it becomes easy to frame his speech and convey the intended message clearly.

speakingPreparation of a presentation should be preceded by scrutinizing a few aspects closely. One should be clear about the main objective of the presentation besides the other objectives. The speaker should be clear about message that he wants to convey. Any misstep at any stage can have disastrous consequences and the effort becomes an exercise in futility. The size of the audience impacts the time. The presentation will require less time to deliver in case of smaller audiences. Presentations require longer duration to complete if the there is a big crowd or a huge ground.

In a public speaking event, the audience anticipates intensity. They look for an experience out of the event. Pitching the idea in a smooth flow with variation in pace will enthrall the audience and keep the momentum on. A pause in speaking will also have a very good effect if it is timed properly. For accomplished presenters, silence adds to the effectiveness. Humor is another factor that can make a presentation more interesting and engage the audience. It is important to ensure that the subject and content are appropriate for the audience. If you have already assessed your audience, it would become easier to determine whether humor would perk up the presentation.

In order to receive the attention that you think you deserve, your pitching, presenting and speaking have to be different. Start differently; begin your presentation with something the audience would not expect. Do not rattle off facts. Draw from your personal experience – things that are close to your heart. Do not antagonize your audience with boring monotonous delivery. Your success hinges on holding their attention.

Prepare with frenzy and pitch your ideas deftly. Do not try to deliver too much information. It should not become a dog-and-pony show. Whether it’s a brief elevator pitch or a long drawn-out meeting with a group of potential clients, only a persuasive and confident presentation will ensure your success.

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1 Comment

  1. In the context of speaking in a business context, it’s my experience and the experience of my students that one must reach deep inside and do everything in one’s power to influence the group to make the decision or take the action the speaker truly believes is the right direction – congruency is key here – otherwise there will some “give-away” in your non-verbal communication indicating a lack of congruency.

    Lack of congruency when “pitching” / speaking can completely derail your results.

    Best,
    David Portney

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