We've got 99 problems but a pitch ain't one
In November 2018 we hosted a session at the IAB UK’s first ever #Nonference - 29 hours of immersive, exhilarating and interactive programming where 800 guests from brands and agencies were encouraged to participate in a range of sessions - ‘don’t take notes take part’.
Our session, “99 problems but a pitch ain’t one” was an interactive session where attendees learned and put into practice some winning hints and tips to take the stress out of pitches and client presentations.
Here’s what went down.
STEP 1: PLAN
The most important part of preparing for any presentation is taking the time to properly plan.
- Understand the brief and any client requirements.
- Be clear on your offer.
- Know your key decision makers, who you are pitching to and what their individual drivers are.
- Using all of this information, plan what you're going to say.
A simple and easy technique for reinforcing key messages in presentations is the Triangle. The Triangle is a skill that allows you to structure content concisely for a short talk, update or introduction. It is based on Aristotle’s philosophy: tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them. It takes a very short amount of time to create and will make you look thoughtful and prepared. Most importantly, your audience will remember your key points. It's all about the rule of three.
Here's the process:
- Draw a triangle and write the topic in the centre.
- At each point of the triangle, write one of your three key messages about the topic.
- When you introduce the topic, list the three key messages you will deliver.
- Talk through each of the three key messages.
- To close, repeat the topic and the three key messages.
STEP 2: POLISH
Once you know what you want to say, you can start rehearsing with your team.
- Play to the individual strengths of your team and make sure everyone has a role they are comfortable with.
- Practice, practice, practice! You should aim to practice at least three times before the big day to iron out any blips, get comfortable with your content and ensure everyone is confident with what they have to deliver.
STEP 3: PERFORM
It's show time! All of your hard work up until this point means you are fully prepared - all you need to do now is shine.
Connect with your audience using eye contact
There are many benefits to having good eye contact. You look and feel more confident and credible. You clear your thinking process because you’re not taking in extra visual information. This makes it easier for you to focus on what you want to say. Most importantly, when you use good eye contact, you connect with the people in your audience.
Hold your ground
There is nothing wrong with moving around during a presentation or while running a meeting – as long as the movement has a purpose. Unnecessary weight shifting or pacing makes you look nervous. To stay focused and avoid shifting, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your weight balanced. Remember, it’s a skill to be able to stand still.
Crank up the energy and be your best self!
A vital element of giving a compelling presentation is volume. On a scale of 1–10, with 1 being a whisper and 10 being a shout, remember that your goal is to stay at a 7 or an 8. Keeping your volume up isn’t just about ensuring that the audience can hear you. Increased volume translates to increased energy —helping with inflection and adding animation to your face and gestures. Volume is a quick and easy way to bring your personality to the foreground and keep your audience engaged.