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Tips for Pitching Entrepreneurs in 2 Minutes

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by Startacus Admin

Top tips for pitching entrepreneurs
Your moment has come… it’s pitching time!

Here’s two minutes worth of tips to help maximise your chances of success.

 

Nerves won’t help you now- They serve no purpose at all, and could actually ruin your chances success, so you must get them under control.  Many an entrepreneur has been reduced to a jittering wreck by a pitching opportunity that was foiled by unnecessary nerves.

Make yourself at home- Essentially, own the room. It’s easy to be thrown off course unfamiliar surroundings, so make a conscious effort to take in as much information about the layout, contents, and occupants of the room either before or during your pitch.  It might seem like a small things, but quickly familiarising yourself with your surroundings will help put you and your ‘lizard brain’ at ease; it will also give you the spatial awareness required to pitch comfortably within the room.   

Project your voice in a way that is appropriate for the space, not too loud, and not too soft; if it is a particularly large room, or very crowded, ask if you can be heard OK before continuing- the last thing you want is some no-it-all interrupting to tell you to speak up.   Identify anything which is likely to be a distraction during your pitch, such as a door opening, or noise from outside; this will help make sure you aren’t taken unawares and thrown off track.  

 
Be mindful of your hand gestures- Plan ahead so you’re not left standing there like an awkward teenager at the first school disco.  Use your hands as a tool to convey openness and trustworthiness, as well as to emphasise the most important elements of your pitch.  Use confident, purposeful motions, and when not doing this, hold your hands in a comfortable ‘home’ position, rather than letting them dangle aimlessly by your sides.  
 

Adapt your motions to your audience, utilising broader, more sweeping motions for large groups, and more conservative movements for smaller ones.  Whatever you do, don’t put your hands behind your back, this is an indication that you’re hiding something, and will be subconsciously picked up on by your audience.

Pace purposefully-  Be very aware of the space available to you;  this is your space, to do with as you please, so don’t be afraid to make use of it.  Pacing calmly and purposefully will exude an air of confidence, openness, and knowledgeability, all qualities which will be well received by your audience.  
 Top tips for pitching entrepreneurs


Don’t try to read their faces
-
In our experience, the expression on people’s faces when listening to a pitching entrepreneur are rarely a good indication of their actual feelings; they may be frowning because they’re concentrating intently, or they might be smiling because they find your pitch ridiculous. Either way, you won’t be any better off by trying to decipher their thoughts.

Be aware of your posture- Firstly, ground yourself; anchor your feet to the floor and only move them if you have a reason to do so, for example, to move around the stage for emphasis and engagement.  Open up your chest, this will help you to stand tall and proud, but it will also increase the volume of your chest and promote deeper more effective breathing.    Our expert friends at Metaspeech told us to pretend that we had an antenna atop our heads, which needs to be as high as possible to receive a signal; this will help prevent slouching, and all the negative effects which come with it.

What to do if you start to lose it- It makes for compelling TV on The Apprentice, but it’s not so nice when YOU are the train crash that no one can take their eyes off.  If you find yourself faltering, and know you are going down fast, there are a number of things you can do that will help get you back on track.

  • DO NOT PANIC; it will only make things worse

  • Pause and calmly refer to your notes, take a sip of water

  • Ask the audience an engaging question, which requires some participation such as a show of hands

  • Paraphrase / recap, what you have covered so far, this will buy you a little time to get your thoughts together.

 

Good luck!


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Published on: 17th November 2016

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