Three Tools for a Persuasive Pitch

It’s been an exciting week at ImprovEdge – We were selected as a Grand Prize Winner in the Virtual WBENCPitch Pivot award program for our innovative response to COVID-19!

Thank you everyone who voted us through to the finals where we pitched the all-star panel of judges, including Allstate, the partner for WBENCPitch Pivot, as well as FedEx and PepsiCo.

We couldn’t have done this without the many votes to get us to the finals and incredible support from clients, friends and family along the way. We’ve read every text and email and listened to every voicemail with encouraging and supportive messages.

As improvisors, we are saying, “Yes, and!”

Yes! We won! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • And… As a small, woman-owned business, we strive to grow, provide jobs, and serve our communities and clients. This prize will help us do just that. Our plan is to use a portion of the prize to invest back into the business to continue serving our clients at the highest level by purchasing new video cameras and equipment. This will enable us to keep our virtual trainings, workshops, and keynotes as cutting edge as they have been for the last 8+ years!
  • And… We see this as a time to expand and serve and as such, we are investing in our business development process to create and implement new growth opportunities.
  • And… How can we help you today?

One of the areas we specialize in is teaching and coaching Presentation Skills, and one question we’re frequently asked is about effective pitching.

How to be succinct? How to be dynamic? How to be memorable? How to be persuasive?

You probably pitch more often than you realize as pitching is far more than asking a Shark on Shark Tank to invest in your business.

Anytime you ask for something professionally or personally, you are making a persuasive pitch to an audience.

Asking for a promotion? Want to be included on a special project? Need your kids to do something around the house? If so, you are pitching an idea and these three tips will help you communicate your message clearly and in a compelling way.

  1. Bookends: Start and end with a bang. Not only should the opening hook be fabulous, the closing has to wow as well. A story, statistic, prop, or quote are good options. The idea here is you need to give your audience a reason to be receptive to your pitch at the beginning and remember it once it’s over.
  2. Practice: It’s amazing how often people don’t stand up and work their pitch out loud or blow their chances because they didn’t take the timing seriously. You absolutely must rehearse! Stand up, say it out loud, and time yourself. Keep your pitch as short as possible by working out your talking points and removing redundancies.
  3. Vocal Warm-up: Your voice is a persuasive tool. Without warming-up your voice, your tone can be scratchy or monotone, or you stumble over your words. You may feel funny doing a vocal warm up, yet the energy you bring to your pitch through the tone of your voice and even your body language will either convey confidence or not. For starters, simply stand up straight and hum as low and high as you can. Then roll your shoulders and shake out the jitters. A few jumping jacks never hurt anyone, either!

Consider these three steps to bring clarity and focus to your pitch. And, if you have any pitch stories where you’ve used these techniques, we’d love to hear from you!

Keep Improvising!

This article is 100% written by a human named Karen Hough. She is the Founder & CEO of ImprovEdge, in the top 4% of women-owned businesses in the US, a 3-time Amazon bestselling author, Yale grad, wife and mom of three.