Dress Rehearse your Pitch
During a recent dress rehearsal for my local ‘am-dram’ group I realised that my favourite line from the parody I was singing (“On My Own” from Les Mis) wasn’t making the test audience laugh as much as I thought it would. When I chatted to them about it after I realised it was because of a silly detail that I had overlooked. I corrected it and thankfully when I went out to a real audience it got the laughs the line deserved.
Pitching for new business needs a dress rehearsal and, if the piece of business is worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, get a test audience in to make sure the pitch is clear and that everyone involved is playing their part.
It’s interesting speaking to people who spend their time being pitched at. In most cases they will tell you that significant improvements could have been made.
Common pitching mistakes:
Irrelevance – don’t waste the audience’s time telling them how great you are or what the history of your business is – unless you intend to say ‘which means X to you Potential client….’ they really don’t care.
Lack of Enthusiasm – If you’re excited about the opportunity then tell your face tell your body and tell your audience.
Nerves – I did a pitch recently and nerves got the better of me – preparation is the key to making sure nerves are kept in check.
Lack of EQ – You need to be able to read a room – people with high EQ can do this very well and as such can adapt the messaging accordingly – if your pitch team are lacking in EQ then swap some of them out.
Poor team choice – They might be a key part of the team but if they can’t pitch and you don’t have time to coach them so that they feel comfortable and clear on their role then don’t use them.
Lack of Prep – You must find the time to prepare. A group of guys auditioned for the X-Factor last week and they had prepped their dancing and singing butts off. The outcome was inevitable – the panel loved them. Prep not only makes sure your messaging is clear it shows respect to the panel and the opportunity.
If you have an important pitch coming up, or want to road test your generic pitch I will provide constructive (brutally honest) feedback and can coach individuals so you are winning pitch ready.
I’ll also give you a rendition of “On my Phone” if you fancy it