A very happy Monday(s) to you indeed! I hope this finds you well.
I had a wonderful time in Paris and I hit the ground running- can’t keep my sweet clients waiting for too long! (Oh, and I filmed a mini-lesson while I was away – click here in case you missed it.)
I’ve been working with a Top Entrepreneur on helping her to deal with her nerves, particularly during pitches. She told me recently that speaking in public is not a huge problem for her, but when she is in a competition for a prize or an award and has to pitch her ideas, she gets terribly nervous because she’s afraid she will fail.
I totally understand that. Pitching is hard and can be very nerve-wracking. Here are 5 tips to keep in mind the next time you hear ‘Batter up!’
1. HEY, WINNER: (yes, that’s you): If you’re invited to give a pitch, it means that you’ve already won. You’ve got something special that people want to know more about, and just being selected (most likely out of a large group) to pitch your ideas is an honor itself. Being asked to pitch means that you are being recognised for having an excellent idea, product or service. Hopefully this will happen often, so get used to pitching!
2. B-R-E-A-T-H-E! I have used several breathing techniques with my clients, and this one works really well. If your exhale is longer than your inhale, it’s proven to reduce stress and make you feel more balanced and grounded. I do it every day and it truly works! (I would never waste your time with anything lame, you know that, right, sweet buffi?)
3. TORNADOES HAPPEN: Control what you can. Let go of what you can’t. Take time to really prepare and organise in your head (and your heart!) everything that is really under your control. Check your visuals, the sound, make sure you are wearing something that looks fab and feels great (not a good time to break in those new stilettos), show up early to get to know the space, and see where the audience/jury is sitting, etc. And let go of things you cannot control. Realize that we have things that may (or may not!) happen, like a WIFI problem, the speakers blew out, the circus tent in which you are working gets blown away in an unexpected tornado, etc. Let those things go. Out of your control = real life. And real life is FULL of surprises. Thank god!
4. GO FISHING: Put your audience or the jury first. What is something that will have impact on them? What will be a great hook to reel them in? Great pitchers know how to throw the right kind of ball, based on studying the technique of the batter they are facing. Start with that as your focus before you start preparing. It really makes a difference! (Fun fact: My cousin’s team won the World Series in 2015.)
5. TICK TOCK: Pitches have to be short. Less is often more. Make sure you use high-impact vocabulary and words with a lot of energy behind them. Instead of ‘a lot’, try ‘a great deal of’. Instead of ‘important’, how about ‘significant’? Using colorful, lively vocabulary will have more impact when every second counts.
I hope these tips will help you feel more relaxed the next time you have to pitch. (They also work well for presentations!) If you’d like to practise your pitch with me, I’m ready to catch! You can mail me anytime for an appointment, as I’m always happy to help!
Here’s hoping your next pitch feels like a home run!