As an agency, pitching is one of the most intimidating challenges you can encounter. We’ve all experienced it - the butterflies in your stomach, sweating palms, the slight shake in your voice that you hope the client doesn’t notice (they usually don’t, we promise). The best way to face up to a pitch with confidence is to arm yourself with the tools to prepare successfully. With this in mind, check out our advice below to help you get pitch-ready, then visit our online pitch guide, for even more advice and information.
Practice, practice, practice
Some might say over-rehearsing a pitch will make you sound robotic. The solution to this? Even more practice. When you know your material inside-out, you can rehearse the delivery and inflection as well. Don’t worry about sounding rehearsed, it’s a worse feeling to walk out of the room and suddenly remember an important point you forgot to mention.
Incorporate this step into your rehearsal. While it might seem mortifying to see yourself on video, it helps you to think critically and notice any mistakes you might be making - Are you talking too quickly? Are you speaking tangentially? Are you speaking loudly and clearly enough? The camera never lies.
Don’t be afraid to use notes
Reading from a script won’t lead to a compelling delivery, but if you find you get a little lost it’s okay to have a couple of key notes or stats on a card to prompt you. We’re not in school anymore, and no one is going to accuse you of cheating. It will help to steady your nerves and keep you on track.
Read the room
It’s important to match the tone your client sets. They might be in a joking mood, or they could be walking in after a horrifically stressful morning. Just be warm and engaging, but don’t try and force a laugh if they’re not biting. You’re there to inform, not to entertain.
Prepare to answer questions
So you’ve nailed the delivery, what now? Getting your side of the information across is half the battle. Before you set foot in the room for the pitch, try and anticipate any questions the client might have. It helps to rehearse your pitch with someone who hasn’t worked on it to see if they have any questions - that way you won’t fall victim to privileged insight.
It’s the oldest advice in the book because it’s the most effective. Make sure to take deep breaths if you start to feel nervous, sip water, and don’t go in on an empty stomach. Try your best to relax and enjoy the process and the rest will follow.
For more advice on perfecting your pitches, whether it’s preparation, content, delivery, or even follow up, check out our online pitch guide, and watch the video below.