One of the most nerve-wracking moments in a student’s or young professional’s career is pitching.
As young professionals we often have to pitch many things. Think about it — you get to an interview and you are given a sample product that you have 20 minutes to prepare a pitch for the interviewer. Maybe you are a creative and pitching a career-altering super bowl campaign. Maybe you’re just pitching yourself. There’s always room for improvement.
Go the extra mile.
If you can demonstrate you have a great team and bring creative insights, you are already one step ahead of the competition. By making sure there are no ‘empty suits,’ meaning that each team member plays an integral role, the audience will stay immersed in the pitch. If part of the pitch doesn’t accelerate your main ideas, leave it out. By getting into the client mindset, you will be able to focus in on the challenges they have. You want to set yourself and your team apart.
The more you can find out about the folks you’re pitching, the better off you will be. Do your research. Do they like golfing? Great. Maybe there’s a way you can incorporate that into the pitch. Make it personal. If you establish those connections, that chemistry will continue to progress throughout the pitch.
Show that you “get it.”
When pitching, be sure to demonstrate that you understand the problem the organization is facing. If you show the audience that you understand them in a dynamic way that keeps them interested, you are sure to grab their attention from the start of the presentation.
Demonstrate clarity of vision and purpose.
The strategy you are presenting must be crystal-clear. The implementation of strategy must be laid out creatively. In order to sell and show that you can do the job and that you have a perfect solution to the problem at hand.
Incorporate the latest trends.
Does your audience live on social? More and more companies are looking for qualified candidates with social media skills. If you can find a way to incorporate bloggers, influencers or other key social aspects into the pitch, do it.
If they don’t understand, ask!
Never talk down to the client. Don’t say something like,” your website could use improvement.” You never know if the person who worked on the website is sitting in the room listening to the pitch. Ask if you need to back up to cover something they may want clarification on. Doing on-the-spot problem solving will help you connect with the client. This also gets your pitch team interacting with the crowd so the audience isn’t bored.
Sydney Denninger is a fourth year public relations student at the University of Florida. When she’s not traveling the world, studying or cheering on the Gators, she likes to curl up with a good book and her cat Jenga. Follow her on Twitter or connect with her on Linkedin.