InsightsPOSTED March 26, 2014

5 steps to delivering a killer live pitch

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Ken Evans

Pitching a room full of prospects is a lot like performance art. It involves props, using your space, blocking, and working with others…or at least it should. If your idea of pitching involves reading a PowerPoint presentation off your laptop screen, drop everything and read these tips for delivering a well-choreographed live pitch.

1. Directly articulate what the prospect will get by hiring your agency

This seems obvious, but it’s something that’s rarely done. Telling a prospective client “we’ll get you great earned media” is fine and dandy, but what business results can you get them? Will hiring you drive sales or improve their corporate reputation? Tell them, in the first 5 to 10 seconds of your preamble.

2. Use the room

Anchoring yourself to your laptop or PowerPoint is a huge no-no. Use props or visuals placed stategically around the room. Create a dynamic presentation that allows you to move around the room. If you’re limited to presenting at the front of the room, be inclusive with the whole room and give other people attention, including those at the back.

And remember: Your PowerPoint is for the audience, not you.

3. Talk about them

Talk about their brand, their business, their challenges, their opportunities…before you talk about your agency. You’re there to solve a problem for them, not brag about yourself. How will you help them? Address that right off the bat. It will demonstate that you know their business.

4. Rehearse, rehearse, then rehearse again

Spend a minimum of five hours rehearsing. The more rehearsed your pitch is, the more natural is appears. Rehearse until it becomes second nature and you feel more agile in delivering it.

5. Be upfront and tell them you want the business

Obviously be enthusiastic, but also explicitly say that you want the business. Emphasize why your agency is different or more appropriate for the ask, and once you’ve done that, ask for the business.

Ken Evans once did a pitch where they hired a moving truck and filled the prospect’s office with teenage bedroom furniture. Follow him on Twitter.

Need help with your communications? APEX can tailor a program to suit your needs.