There’s something to be said for making an impact with an audience. It’s even more critical when you are delivering a pitch to earn that all-important sale. You need to gain your audience’s trust early and pique their interest all throughout the delivery of your presentation. If you lose them even for a second, your chances of closing the sale diminish. That’s why we asked 10 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following:
“What’s an unusual but easy way to connect with your audience when delivering a pitch?”
How to Deliver a Pitch
Here’s what YEC community members had to say:
1. Make a Personal Connection
“Do some research on the people you’re pitching and make a personal reference to something relevant you learned about the person. For example, if you know they went to a certain college and that their basketball team is doing well, congratulate them on being the No. 1 basketball team. Find a way to include something personal in the pitch. ” ~ Douglas Baldasare, ChargeItSpot
2. Use Their Name Three Times
“My friend and mentor Karyn Schoenbart, CEO of the NPD Group and co-author of the book Mom.B.A. Essential Business Advice From One Generation to the Next, taught me to connect with someone instantly by using their first name three times in the initial conversation: at the beginning (“Nice to meet you, Alex”), the middle (“Alex, does this gel with what you’re seeing?”), and the end (“Alex, let’s connect again in the next few weeks.”). ” ~ Alexandra Levit, PeopleResults
3. Have a Sense of Humor
“When a speaker starts with a joke, it sends a signal to the audience that they can relax. I like to involve some humor into real stories about the subject I’m talking about and how it is relevant to me. Even if it’s an investment pitch, connecting with your audience and getting them to like you is key. Remember: if you are pitching something, the same practices of sales hold true.” ~ Michael Averto, ChannelApe
4. Tell Them a Story About Yourself
“Start off with a story about yourself so they see you as a person rather than a salesperson. Make that connection first and then show them why you are offering them what you are offering. ” ~ Angela Ruth, Calendar
5. Be Provocative and Poignant
“I like to begin and end pitches with humor. Humor is powerful because it’s truthful. Aside from sprinkling in a silly anecdote, make your pitch memorable by being provocative, even controversial, but mainly truthful. Let your jokes touch on the theme of your pitch, and keep this as a parallel structure throughout your speech. ” ~ Kristopher Jones, LSEO.com
6. Share What You Are Doing as You Write
“I love writing my pitch emails in real time to capture the moment. For example, if I’m in a coffee shop I always share how “I am way over-caffeinated, and my hands are shaking (or maybe it’s from the excitement of the launch).” Or if it’s super hot or cold outside, I make light of the weather so that my audience knows that this isn’t an automated email sequence but a real person emailing them.” ~ Bryan Kesler, CPA Exam Guide
7. Make the Audience Do the Work
“I like it when people break the ice with a game. A fun question can get an audience participating right off the bat. That question could be something like, “Imagine money is no object. What’s the first thing you buy, and why?” The audience also wonders how it connects to your purpose, which starts the forward pull you need for a good pitch. ” ~ Michael Dash, Parallel HR Solutions, Inc.
8. Use Props
“Having a tangible visual aid to accompany your pitch is a great way to engage your audience and make them feel like a part of the presentation. If your audience has been sitting through several other pitches before seeing yours, this is an effective way to break up the monotony and ensure that they truly connect with the message you are trying to convey. It’s disruptive and constructive!” ~ Bryce Welker, Beat The CPA
9. Break Physical Barriers
“Use your position in the room to your advantage as a way of breaking down barriers with your audience during a pitch. Move around the room and get close to your audience. Even a physical tap on the shoulder or a hand on the arm will break the ice. I learned this waiting tables — when I would tap the customer on the shoulder at any point, I would find an increase in tips. Pitching is no different.” ~ Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors
10. Make Your Audience Move
“Getting an audience to “physically participate” in a presentation, whether simply raising their hands or actually moving, is a great way to engage them. If you’re one of many pitches in a long day, suggest a stretch break. If you have a physical product to demonstrate, get an audience member to use it. Think of any way that you can get them to interact with you or each other physically.” ~ Ross Beyeler, Growth Spark
Related reading: 12 Sales Pitch Examples That Close Deals
Photo via Shutterstock
It is about making a connection and retaining it. It is about getting the heart of the person that you are talking to.
It is about addressing the needs of who you are talking to. That’s the only way you can get them to listen to you.
A pitch is not that hard to do. But you need to hone it for it to be effective in generating a sale.