Giving a presentation or pitching an idea to a decision-maker is never easy. Your job is to sell your vision and your amazing plan to one or more people who, typically, don’t want to spend more than they have to and don’t share your talent and expertise. Whether you are a niche expert or a versatile visionary, or even an aspiring business coach, your job is to sell the idea to everyone in the room. That said, you’re not only selling the idea – you’re selling yourself as well, because how much someone likes you or trusts you will have an impact on their decision-making process.
Needless to say, you are not in an enviable starting position if you’re tasked with delivering a presentation or a pitch to a potential client or the decision-makers in your company. That said, there is plenty you can do to perfect your strategy and elevate your chances of success.
Decision-makers not only want to hear a good idea, they also want a good story, good visuals to support the narrative, compelling data, and more. Here’s how to weave all of this into your pitch and win over the hearts and minds of everyone in the room.
Evoke the right emotions
If you’ve ever attended any kind of sales lecture or workshop, probably the first thing you heard is that people base their decisions on emotions first, and reason second. We can’t help it, we’re only human, and emotions guide our actions and influence our mindset throughout our lives. So why should you think that the decision-makers in the room are any different? No matter how professional, experienced, and talented these individuals may be, they are still guided by their emotional response – and you need to capitalize on that fact.
One of the key elements of a winning business pitch is the emotional response you evoke, so you need to start off by making an emotional statement. You might think that you need to start with the facts, but that comes after you have already established an emotional connection.
For example, start by stating a general sentiment that everyone in the room shares, and then follow up with an equally powerful fact to support the emotional response.
Keep the presentation moving along
Another crucial element of a successful pitch is brevity. On the one hand, you need to provide all the facts and create a compelling narrative, which takes time, but on the other hand, you need to keep things moving along. People get bored and confused easily, especially if you’re presenting an out-of-the-box idea or a plan of action that deviates from a standard operating procedure. The same goes for plans that require a high financial investment.
To keep their eyes on the prize and their minds set on the ultimate goal, you need to keep the presentation moving along. The best way to do this is to set clear milestones for yourself, but also for everyone in the room. Divide your pitch into relevant sections and make each time-bound. Practice at home and try not to breach the timeslot or risk losing your audience for good.
Highlight the important aspects in video format
Important information and sections in your presentation require a powerful visual aid. You can’t make an impact just by stating a fact, nor can you close the deal on an “out there” plan if the only thing people have to look at is your enthusiastic expression. Remember, people won’t always share your passion and zeal, which is why you need a visual aid like a good video to illustrate your point.
Videos are extremely important in the modern business world because they break the monotony, build up suspense, and keep the attention levels high in the room. By simply using a free video maker to create a video presentation or give the important parts of your pitch a much-needed boost, you can easily spark the right emotions and seal the deal.
Deliver value right off the bat
It should go without saying, but first impressions matter. When you’re starting your pitch, the last thing you want to do is spend time introducing yourself or telling people why they’re there. Leave the introductions for the very end, no matter how counterintuitive that may seem, and go straight into the impactful statements, the sobering facts, and the emotional narrative.
Start with a short, powerful sentence. Don’t thank anyone for being there, don’t waste their time explaining anything. In our western culture, it pays to be direct, as it leaves an impression that your time is precious and that you respect the time of everyone in the room. That said, if you’re a part of the eastern culture, then always make sure to begin the pitch by thanking and addressing everyone in the room.
Support your claims with some sobering facts
Finally, make sure to arm yourself with relevant statistics from credible sources. Remember, people will build their brand and make their investments based on hard facts at the end of the day, and they will not move forward if you can’t support your claims with credible sources. You not only need hard data for your presentation, but also to answer any subsequent questions and show the decision-makers that you have considered every possible scenario.
Over to you
Presenting your business case to the important people in the company or pitching to a potential client is never easy. But that doesn’t mean that you’re not in control. People will act on your ideas and sign off on your plans if you make an effort to evoke the right emotions, use relevant data, and support your presentation with compelling visuals. Do this, and you will become the leader in your field that the decision-makers will respect.