The best ideas are the ones that sell.
The saying goes that great ideas sell themselves. Simply enter your pitch and gently nuzzle it in the back. It will begin talking. What happens if it doesn’t want to talk? This tactic is a risk to the best ideas in a consultancy’s presentation.
While some ideas may sell themselves, many will require consulting leaders and their teams to do the job. This means that you need to be well prepared so that you can let the ideas speak for themselves. How can you prepare for your pitches?
My workshops are generally open to discussing the importance of practice presentations. It is common to have time to practice the presentation before the pitch. Yet, this time is used in many different ways. Sometimes, it’s because you are too busy to do anything else. It’s often spending more time on the idea, then the deck, then back to the original idea. It’s fine if this works for your situation. If you don’t win the pitches you want, it could be your deck or your idea. You could be preparing it incorrectly.
Why do agencies forgo rehearsal? The belief that the idea should be able to sell itself could be at the root of this. It would be obvious that the more you work on the idea, the greater the chance that it will sell. You will find that the more you work on your idea, the less you have to say. You can just open the Mac and let your idea speak for itself. Rehearsals can be painful and should be avoided.
Ideas speak for themselves. But only to the original source. Unfortunately, your branding won’t help you achieve a successful outcome unless it is your own. Clients care more about you and your work. How you communicate with clients is what they judge you on. They are buying into a future working relationship. They aren’t just buying your past work or future work in a free pitched pitch.
Clients must trust you in order to believe you. You must also trust yourself.Here are some ways to build trust by using your time for rehearsals
Rehearsal is when you are congruent with your client during the meeting. This means your actions and words will be consistent. The impression clients get from you if you are not congruent is determined by how you act. You may not be congruent if you claim that you work in a team, then you bump into one another while you swap speakers. You might also say you communicate well, and then you talk over one another during the presentation.
- You can focus your attention on your client instead of your idea when you practice. Relax, you know your idea inside and out. You can detect cues your client is giving off when they are losing focus. They may also want to ask a question. These are the moments where pitch success rests.
- You can control the meeting by practicing rehearsal. It allows you to be aware of where you are starting and ending. This will allow you to think clearly about your ideas and make informed decisions. You can feel confident in your ability to communicate your ideas after you have practiced.
How to make a rehearsal work:
- You can leave the deck alone. This will allow you to practice. Although it will require strength of will, if you agree with the fact that winning the pitch is part content and part delivery and you are determined to win, you will succeed. This must be the responsibility of the leader of pitch. This will change the culture in your company’s approach to presentations.
- Designate a pitch ambassador. This is someone who might or may not be involved with the pitch. They are responsible for making sure that the rehearsal goes smoothly. To watch what happens. To provide feedback, ask questions, and assign responsibilities for making corrections or changes. If necessary, to schedule a second rehearsal. This is something that every consultancy can do. You might consider hiring someone to do this.
- Dress rehearsal in full: At least two runs through. Give them the whole works. This requires everyone to be present, in position, and practice full-on. Then, they should say what they will say during the presentation. While everyone is practicing, someone should ask questions and try to ‘be’ the audience. It won’t be a pleasant experience the first time. It will be hard to see and hear the things you dislike and wish to hide from. You’ll feel more confident about your performance the second time around. Even with only two rehearsals, you will notice the difference.
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