Gary Genard's

Speak for Success!

"Be a voice not an echo." - Albert Einstein

Need a Memorable Pitch? Here Are 3 Key Steps for Success!

Want to deliver a memorable presentation or pitch? You should! After all, when you speak to persuade or bring in business, it should be an exciting experience for you and your listeners.

And if the stars align, your well-delivered presentation or sales talk could be a turning point in your career. Or your organization’s success. Or not least of all, your sense of personal accomplishment. 

Boy Scouts Are Always Prepared . . . How About You?

But like all great achievements, the nuts-and-bolts preparation you do beforehand is what will ensure your success. In that spirit, here are three pieces of practical advice for getting ready with your presentation, sales pitch, or talk. 

There’s one bit of wisdom I’d like to share with you first, though. It’s the best advice I ever heard for becoming a more accomplished presenter:

Acquire as much speaking experience as possible.

Take every opportunity that comes your way to speak in public, even if (or especially if) that's a nerve-racking proposition for you. That’s the only way to gain control over your fear. Also, you'll reach that state of mind in which speaking in front of others is both a pleasurable and productive activity for you.

Now, the practical advice:

1. Prepare solid briefing materials: Take a page from diplomats and politicians and put together a briefing book.  Ask yourself these questions as you compile your information:

  • Are my materials memorable (for me and my audience)?
  • Have I anticipated questions and objections?
  • Does each of my main points “headline” the information to come?
  • Is my information well laid out and visually highlighted for my benefit?

2. Plan your practice sessions: A good strategy for your practice sessions can be just as helpful as visualizing success in your presentation itself.  Here’s how to go about it:

  • Timing:  Begin sooner rather than later:  Give yourself sufficient time!
  • Emphasis:  Be clear on what you’re focusing on. For instance, are you looking for feedback on your content? story? logic and evidence? strength of your testimonials? level of audience interaction? visual components? anything else?
  • Setting: Go from rough-and-ready settings to as close an approximation as you can manage of the real situation, venue, and audience.
  • Post-Performance Feedback: Define for yourself what you’ll consider a success. And let subordinates and colleagues know that you expect and welcome criticism.
  • Rehearse 3 to 5 times: Less than three times is almost winging it.  If you rehearse more than 5 times, however, you’ll run the risks of a) becoming stale; and b) memorizing movements and consciously repeating them, which will make you look mechanical.

3. Have an out-of-body experience: Videotape yourself. Or use a tape recorder if you need work on your voice. Watch, listen, and work on the rough spots. It’s as simple as that.

Whether it's speaking at a business meeting, delivering a sales presentation, or practicing your stump speech, you need to hear and see yourself as others experience you. The modern miracle of electronic equipment allows you to do that.  Make use of it! 
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Tags: presentation skills,pitch,how to give a speech,how to practice a presentation,how to prepare a presentation,sales talk,sales pitch,sales presentation

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