6 Common Pitching Mistakes To Avoid
Let’s be honest, pitches can be difficult. When presenting to an audience that has seen and heard a myriad of pitches, it can be incredibly difficult to make a great impression.
As presenters, we are in the privileged position of being able to share our knowledge, experience, and passion with an audience. With this privilege comes responsibility, a responsibility to our audience to ensure that our message is relevant and interesting to listen to.
Common Pitching Mistakes To Avoid
- Giving too much information. The quote “The more you tell me the less I remember” comes to mind here. Information overload will do you no favors. When you are passionate about a topic and you have a lot of knowledge about it, it’s easy to want to share as much as possible, which in turn can overwhelm your audience. Instead, choose a few key points that demonstrate your main idea and elaborate on those.
- Not speaking clearly. Even though we spend a significant part of the day talking to one another, speaking to an audience is a surprisingly difficult skill, and it’s one that we need to practice. If nervousness floods you and makes you rush through a presentation, your audience could miss your most important points. Practice and prepare before the presentation. Make efforts to breathe deeply, and enunciate each word clearly, while you focus on speaking at a comfortable tempo.
- Not having proper structure. It is extremely frustrating for an audience when a speaker wanders from one idea to the next with no clear direction or point. Even more frustrating is backtracking and repeating points that have already been covered. Take time to get very clear on your objective for the presentation and ensure that everything you include supports that objective. Keep it simple; provide the audience with an outline of what you will be covering and then stick to it.
- Timing. Timing is fundamental. Going over the allotted time frame is not only disrespectful to your audience, but it is also disrespectful to the event organizer and any speakers following you who may have to cut their material short.
- Not making eye contact. Many presenters find that maintaining eye contact with their audience is challenging. Perhaps due to nerves or lack of confidence, being tempted to look at their slides, face the flip chart or read their notes. The moment you lose eye contact with your audience you break the connection and you will struggle to engage them. Meeting a person’s gaze establishes a personal connection, shows you care and even a quick glance will keep people engaged.
- Not having a call to action. The call to action is arguably the most crucial part of your presentation. It summarizes the purpose of your presentation through a bold statement that urges your audience to act on the ideas you shared with them.
Being capable of great public speaking is extremely important and can make your business successful. When you have the opportunity to get on stage and present, it’s important to be prepared and avoid simple mistakes. You need to be genuine, inspiring and convincing and you can do that by keeping your content clear, informative and concise.
It takes practice and effort to deliver a good presentation. But, if you know how to avoid pitfalls, your presentations will be amazing. And when you make it through with the investment you need or the award you’ve been trailing it will be worth it!