Pitching - Convincing Others About Your Ideas

Pitching means to tell others about an idea in an attempt to gain support. It's a valuable skill to have in all walks of life, and especialy if you want to make it in
the entrepreneurial world.

My main experience with pitching (so far) comes from my participation in  startup
weekend
.

Pitching is a form of public speaking, and it's an acquired skill, so if you don't
get it right off the bat,  don't be discouraged, keep at it and you'll eventually get the hang of it.

I had some serious trouble with learning how to do public speaking. Specifically with stage fright.  I was literaly shaking when I pitched my business idea (for MeritBooster). 

Fear is pretty normal with public speaking (some people fear it almost as much as death), but to be an entreprenuer you have to get used to speaking in public.  To cope with the fear, take deep breaths and tell yourself  that you can do this. Self encouragement really makes a world of diffrence.

 

The following tips from my mentors (thanks Dad!) also really helped me out:

  • Be upbeat, your audience will fall asleep if you are dull.
  • Make eye contact, the audience likes feeling engaged
  • Try to avoid relying on notes - they interrupt your flow.  Instead you should...
  • Write out and memorize the main points of your speech in bullet form -  it serves as a mental map of how to get from begining to end.
  • When using slides DO NOT read directly from your slides - people will read your slides themselves and they'll get bored if you read them alound..
  • Think about who you are talking to and base your wording on that,
    it's different to talking to classmates than a room of possible
    funders.
  • PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE! This is the most important thing on this list! You have to know your content.

When I did my pitch at startup weekend I used all of the strategies listed above, but I still ended up forgetting the last 2 lines of my pitch. (That's the difference between practising alone in your room and speaking in front of a room full of 100 people.)  The audience didn't know my lines were missing, but I did.   So
remember that if you mess up it's not the end of the world. Just make
sure you put your best foot forward. 

I hope that these tips help you and that if and when your pitch happens, it goes well. If you have any tips that I didn't list, put them in the comments below.

 

keshav 



 



 

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