What do dancing, dead sea gulls, knights, baby food and pancakes have in common? According to Bill Kenney, from Test My Pitch, who presented at Workbench this April, they are essential elements for a successful pitch.
As you may have guessed, he was speaking metaphorically. Dancing describes the preparedness needed so when you get before the individual(s) you’ll be delivering your pitch to, you can gracefully lead your partners taking in their needs and responses as opposed to be distracted and self-absorbed while you set up the slides, get the audio-visual to work, etc.
The dead sea gull, well . . . I’ll bet that one jumped out at you and you’re still visualizing a dead bird and wondering how you’re going to use this to pitch your plan for a more efficient data collection system to a group of harried CEOs. And that’s exactly how it works: give them a strong graphic representation – one that identifies the problem from your prospect’s perspective – and demonstrates the situation as it exists without your solution. A graphic that stays with them .
By now you’ve probably caught on that you (or your company/product) is the knight. Take that graphic and show how, like St. George, you’re going to slay that dragon (or , to stick with seagulls, clean the oil off the seagull’s feathers and bring it back to life).
Now the baby food. Well, once you and your prospect are happily moving in harmony, and you’ve reviewed the horrors of their current situation and introduced an efficient solution, take the time to present it all in nice, digestible bits. Simple thoughts; short sentences. The measure of a good pitch is if someone can repeat it someone to else.
And the pancakes? Well, in a way, the entire pitch is the pancake. Pitches are like pancakes in that often the first one is the worst of the batch. “You have to pitch badly to pitch well,” Kenney said. It takes time to learn to and hone the combination of skills required for a good pitch, and often the feedback on how a pitch can be improved, or where it went wrong, isn’t given till it’s too late. That’s why Kenney and his company developed a product, Test My Pitch, that allows you to get feedback from neutral coaches before you find yourself in front of a group of potential clients. Click for more information on Test My Pitch .