A “pitch” is a short argument, presented orally, that enables an individual to present and showcase a good practice, an innovative idea or a major project in a way that hopefully gets their audience on board.
It can be used:
to demonstrate the benefits of a practice or project.
The aim in this case is therefore to showcase a specific skill or concept, and to share the essential information on a given topic, just like a TED talk.
to help a judging panel select the winning project from several presented by competing groups (a competition, start-up challenge, hackathon, etc.)
The order of these elements is not set in stone and can be adjusted as needed.
short sentences and key words. Be direct and use simple words. Get straight to the point. Use an accessible vocabulary that’s not too technical.
illustrating your points with examples through photos or diagrams, particularly when you’re talking about data, concepts or figures…
information that can really capture the attention and the “hearts” of your audience. Use anecdotes or illustrations that stir up emotion.
Create the wow factor
Always have the “big idea” underpinning your pitch in mind. This could be a concept, a point of view or simply verbalising what many people already feel but have never been able to put into words.
Prepare your arguments against any objections that your idea could stir up and integrate them into your pitch so that it’s more impactful.
Consider the context and your audience when preparing your points. E.g.: for an innovation competition, you need to demonstrate that your project is novel, collaborative and replicable. However, if you’re presenting an initiative to your manager, you want to show that it is coherent with the company mission, how it could motivate the team, its favourable benefit-cost ratio, etc.
Capture the attention of your audience
Your pitch must always be addressed to someone. Whatever the size of your audience, ask yourself what their mindset might be like and the effect that you want to have on them.
The more you adapt your pitch to your audience, the more they’ll be able to immerse themselves in your idea and appreciate the implications and opportunities it could generate. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes: : In what context do they live? Why are they attending this pitch? What can they take away from it? How can you positively affect them?
Repeat, repeat, repeat!
ideally in front of your peers. Or if not, practice in front of the mirror or film yourself,
and make sure you time yourself!
Pay attention to your body language, your tone of voice and your attitude.
Check list for a successful pitch
The success of any pitch rests on the perfect balance of style and substance. Aside from the tips provided above, ask yourself these 5 questions when you’re practising:
Is the content of my pitch suitable for my audience?
As the same project can be pitched in different ways depending on the target audience!
Is the flow of the pitch conducive to its aim?
Feel free to change the order of the components, improve your opening sentence, or modify your vocabulary to make your pitch more powerful.
Are your tone of voice, pace and body language appropriate?
Are you within the time limit?
How did you feel when you were practising your pitch?