Presenting and Public Speaking

5 things we learnt about pitching from a recent episode of ‘The Apprentice’

1. Don’t waste time at the beginning:

The project manager of the losing team began their presentation talking about things that the audience already knew, telling stories about GB’s Olympic success and the cycling market generally. In any pitch or presentation you need to start with something that immediately captures and engages your audience and that usually means telling them something they don’t already know. The presenter also turned the audience off by saying ‘I know you think this is just waffle’.

2. Engage with your audience:

The winning team used humour and personality to immediately engage at the beginning of their pitch with their audience. This strong start ultimately enabled them to gain the two orders which made the difference to winning and losing. The successful team had their most charismatic presenter on first and that proved to be a winning tactic..

3. Know who is going to be saying what:

It’s never easy doing a pitch or presentation when there are more than one of you involved. In those situations it is vital that you all know exactly who’s going to be saying what and when. The losing team were expecting their second speaker to cover pricing which he failed to do so leaving the third speaker caught on the hop having to deal with this important part of the presentation. if you present in pairs or three’s then make sure you have enough time to prepare and practice so you clearly know what each other is going to be saying.

4. Know your numbers and think like your audience:

In any sales pitch prices and incentives to buy will form a key part in your audience making a decision about placing an order with you. Last night’s losing team completely misunderstood the buying expectation of those that could have placed big orders with them by offering them the same discount as they offered to those who would in reality only place small orders with them. The potential large buyer put them on the spot about this and they failed to deal successfully with it simply because they hadn’t anticipated his reaction. In any pitch or presentation always put yourselves in the shoes of the audience and think how you would react to the presentation and what questions you would ask.

5. Finish strongly:

No matter how long your pitch or presentation is you need to have a strong finish as it is the last thing your audience hear from you before making a decision about whether to buy from you. The team that did win were fortunate that they’d had a very strong start because their finish was particularly poor when they focused on a social media campaign which no one understood instead of reminding the audience of the key benefits of their product and inviting them to place orders with them.

If you have an important pitch or presentation to make I can help you ensure that you make the most of that opportunity. Simply give me a call on 07785 390717 or drop me an email to

I work with company’s as well as individuals, with each session designed to match you or your company’s presenting needs.

Presenting is an increasingly invaluable business skill so make sure you are the best presenter in your sector and use presenting to help you stand out and win business.

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