If your pitch would get a low score from our judges, this great post from Tech Cocktail can help you figure out what’s going wrong. Melissa Pierce lists six common problems that people run into when pitching and explains how you can turn your pitch around.
1. Do you ramble? It’s one thing to make your point, and it’s another to make your point 20 different times. Make your point clear and concise, your audience will understand it.
2. Are you using filler words? Are you literally using filler words in actually every sentence? Common filler words include literally, actually, very, really, inconceivable, and heretofore. You wouldn’t say “umm” in your pitch, so ditch these words too.
3. Is the pitch all about you? Melissa explains, “Your job is to be the audience’s mirror. How can you pitch your idea through their eyes and experiences? Talking for and about yourself doesn’t even go over well when you are invited to tell your life story. Good presenters know that the audience is always the subject of their presentation.”
4. Are you unfamiliar with your audience? You should be familiar with your audience — familiar enough that you can customize your pitch to make it relevant to their interests. Melissa suggests, “If you’re pitching to investors, find out at what stage they usually invest and in what verticals. If you’re delivering a keynote from a stage, find out what kind of people are attending. If it’s a reporter you’re pitching, how does what you do relate to the beat they cover?”
5. Are you not asking for what you want? Why bother making a pitch if you’re not going to ask for something? Your audience should understand your objective
6. Are you doing your pitch on the fly? Melissa’s biggest piece of advice is to practice, practice, practice. Skipping the practice session and running and gunning it is, in her opinion, the worst idea ever.
Check out the whole post at Tech Cocktail.