TOP TIPS FROM OUR FIRST PITCH
April and I recently attended our first new business pitch with Brazen and it was an exciting process of researching and brainstorming – especially since at Brazen we’re known for our big, audacious ideas. As an exec, we’re often called upon to conduct market research and competitor analysis but after building up a considerable amount of experience, we were both recently invited to pitch directly to a client.
Working on new business can be a daunting prospect, after all, what you do and say has a direct impact on whether you land a new client. It doesn’t have to be scary though, here’s our top ten tips based on our first PR pitching experience;
It sounds obvious but you need to know the content inside and out, have confidence in what you’re saying so that your audience will believe that you’re an expert. If you fluff your words or lose track of where you are, it’s so much easier to pick it back up again and move on if you know the content.
Find the balance
Try to find a happy medium between being persuasive and seeming slightly desperate. The same goes for hand gestures and facial expressions, being animated is important but if you’re too exaggerated it can be distracting and deflect away from the pitch.
Don’t just read from the slides
Reading directly from slides on a screen can come across robotic and can suggest that you don’t know what you’re talking about. Try to paraphrase whilst still getting the important messages across – it’ll show you have complete confidence in what you’re saying.
Have fun with it
Don’t be scared to make conversation and have fun with the client. If your agency is fun, vibrant and conversational – why go in acting super formal? Pitching is a great way to give them an idea of what your working relationship is really going to be like so don’t be afraid to show a bit of personality.
Being engaging is key when pitching, the client will be buying into you as a person not just the ideas you present. Making eye contact with the client is a form of body language that shows you’re a confident and personable individual.
Prepare for any questions
Swot up on the news agenda, know what trends are up and coming, know what your client and their competition are doing. It all goes a long way in proving that you’re the right guys for the job.
Try and present in a concise manner and limit the amount of hesitations and fillers such as ‘urm’ and ‘like’. You’re bound to be a little out of you comfort zone but this can sometimes suggest that you’re unprepared or too nervous.
If you’re standing when pitching, try to stand with your right foot forward as this suggests you’re open and honest. The same goes for when you’re seated, it’s always best to keep your hands on the table instead of on your lap or hidden under the table.
Read the signs
Like any social interaction in the work place, it’s imperative to read the atmosphere of the room and the mood of the clients and try to mirror their approach to communicating in the pitch. If they’re excitable then go for it and be enthusiastic but if they seem quiet and perhaps even pushed for time, then try to be concise and professional.
Chill out! You were invited to pitch because you’re the best person for the job, don’t let nerves hold you back!
We’ve loved getting involved with our first pitch from start to finish and can’t wait to apply what we’ve learnt to our next opportunity. Fingers crossed these tips will help all of you in the same boat!
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