Attracting and impressing new clients is essential to any business looking to grow. Ambitious companies are all vying for new business alongside you, and having an edge over your competitors through an exceptional presentation can mean the difference between a contract and a handshake goodbye.
However, pitching for new business is one of the most intense and nerve-wracking parts of business today. As tensions run high, you can start to feel the pressure. This is because your body releases cortisol, the stress hormone, which increases your heart rate and makes you sweat. Cortisol can limit your creativity and leave you incapable of interacting with the room. This means you’re in danger of failing to nail the pitch and win that all-important contract. So how can you stop this happening and ensure that your pitch is successful?
Preparation is Paramount
An effective presentation comes after much preparation. Your number one priority is to prepare properly. You need to research the company that you are meeting, figure out their strengths and weaknesses. Make sure that you aren’t just selling them your idea; you are selling them the perfect solution – designed specifically for their company.
If you’ve gone over all eventualities, then you won’t have anything to be anxious about. Practice some ‘what if?’ scenarios, such as a PowerPoint failure, to make sure that you can deal with any scenario and have a back-up plan.
Telling your Story
All the pressure of the pitch can make you want to get it over and done with as quickly as possible. Professional public speakers recommend speaking 10% slower than you normally would. Remember that people have got to take in everything that you’re saying. Communicate with confidence by speaking in a lively, engaging way. Leave natural pauses for everyone to digest what you’re saying.
Be yourself, as people will quickly see through a façade. Don’t rely on jargon and buzzwords; instead, speak from the heart using the type of language that you use every day. Remember to leave time at the end for questions.
Consider your Body Language
Everything has an effect on how you come across to your potential new clients, not just what you say. According to researcher Albert Mehrabian, the words you use and your tone of your voice accounts for just 45% of communication with over 55% of communication deriving subconsciously from your body language.
In your meeting, slouching, frowning, and hunching all make you look smaller and less impressive. People are looking for emotional cues when they listen to you. Instead of acting uncomfortable, you must exude confidence. Stand up straight with your shoulders back, meet people’s eyes when you speak, and smile.
Richard Branson has some excellent advice for people pitching for new clients. He says: ‘Enthusiasm is contagious.’ If you can share your genuine excitement about working with a new client, you’ll no doubt impress them.
Perfect your pitch with a little help from Ripley Training
At Ripley, we offer a number of courses to help you nail your presentation, teaching you everything from effective planning and preparation, to how to Q&A sessions to help you engage with those on the other side of the table in a more effective manner. From basic courses to advanced presentation skills, we’re here to help you with your pitch and presentation techniques.
We run courses across the country to help you hone your voice and perfect your pitch. Give us a call on 01423-861-122 or fill in our short contact form.