The thing that came to mind, as I was absorbed and fascinated by the methods he shares, was – you’ve got to have some real guts to take this on. There are persuasive, quick thinking and on the spot tactics that come in to play and that he describes brilliantly.
Which got me to thinking that how to pitch anything really starts with first having guts. But what does having guts look like? Learning to get comfortable with presenting with guts means being able to take control and influence your outcome with a calm assertiveness. I broke it down to mastering the following key criteria:
It is not a congeniality contest. The goal is not to be nice and get people to like you. Know what you came in the room to do and present yourself and your pitch with conviction. Keep an unerring focus on the prize – i.e. leaving with what you came to achieve. And be compelling and clear when asking for what you want and why you should get it.
Be In Control of the Room
When you walk in to the room very quickly assess the interaction between key players. Stay attentive to their body language and actions during the presentation so that you can hold their interest in your pitch. At any point that you feel you are losing ground, don’t show that you are thrown off course. Take a couple of seconds if you need to and come back with something compelling to reengage. It requires thinking on your feet, which you need to get good at.
Stand Your Ground, Calmly
This does not mean that you ignore or not welcome feedback. It means being able to handle feedback with calm and confidence. Also, not allowing yourself to get thrown off your pitch or led into a direction that gets you off track from your goals. It goes back to maintaining control - first of you and, in turn, of the room. Take a quick moment to collect your thoughts and reclaim your focus.
For an outstanding approach that breaks down dynamic methods for pitching in any situation, pick up a copy of Klaff’s book 'Pitch Anything.' It will help you think your pitch strategy at a whole different level; and get you used to presenting yourself a winner – and winning!