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Tips on Owning the Room for Pitching Entrepreneurs by Metaspeech

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by Startacus Admin

Mariana Lucia Marquez is the co-founder of previously awarded Startacus Startup of the Week a public speaking consultancy that helps entrepreneurs upgrade their non-verbal communication.

Mariana has written fab previous articles for Startacus on Hand Gestures for Pitching Entrepreneurs, posture tips for pitching entrepreneurs, and eye contact tips for pitching entrepreneurs.

Mariana now returns with the fourth post in this series in improving your pitching skills with some handy guidelines on ‘Owning the Room’ when you are a pitch

Over to Mariana to explain all…

Host your pitch: make yourself feel at home and include everyone

Investors at a pitch will be assessing (mostly unconsciously) how trustworthy and dependable you are. You may have heard that you need to be “the pilot” in command of the airplane, but at Metaspeech we prefer the image of “the host”. Hosting means that you take responsibility for the experience of every one of your guests.

So how do you host your pitch?

Easy-peasy: You make yourself feel at home and you include everyone.

  • Scan the room: take in as many details as you can. How many chairs are there? Tables? Other furniture? What colours are these pieces? What’s the lighting like? Where are the windows? The exits? the toilets? Your goal is to quickly know the space as if it was yours. This simple exercise tricks your mind to believe that the space is familiar and you can relax in it.

  • After scanning, decide where you will be standing to deliver your pitch. Get an understanding of where the investors will be located and how THEY will be seeing you. This tiny pre-planning moment ensures you will not be standing in the way of a projection, or accidentally facing away from the people you are pitching. But most importantly, it will allow you to make an impactful entrance.

  • When the time comes for you to pitch, pace purposefully. Imagine the air behind you is propelling you forwards as you push the air in front of you. No need to rush, take your time. Arrive at your pre-determined spot, smile, and begin.

  • Have 360-degree awareness. You are presenting to the people in front of you but your back is as important as the front of your body. Think of your back as supporting you. If you are pitching on your own, imagine your co-founder and/or team are behind you.

  • In most cases, stepping backwards reads as “retreat”, so imagine there’s a wall behind you and you can only pace sideways or forwards.

  • Own the room by including everyone around you. Work on your posture to have a fluid upper body and strong grounded lower body. Your goal is to be anchored yet flexible. This way you can address people with your torso and be able to use eye contact effectively.

Now get up and pitch!

Stay tuned for our next post in the series: #5 on projecting your voice for a powerful pitch.

Based in and around London and interested in upgrading your Pitching Skills?

Members of the Startacus community of startups, entrepreneurs, and self-starters can get a 20% discount on a 3 x 60 minute session package care of Metaspeech. This would normally cost £450 but Startacus members can get it for £360. Click Metaspeech for all the details.

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Published on: 1st September 2015

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