We were treated to a great session from Sam Warner from Get your Message Across who vowed to take us from terrified to terrific
The fear of standing up and speaking in front of a groups of people is a real and very common basic fear of being ostracised.
There are strategies to overcome with this starting with being yourself, allow people to get to know, like and trust you. Don’t think of it as a sales opportunity but a chance to build relationships and to present your products, offers or ask questions for market research to gain information. The best way to overcome your wobbles is to be well prepared in advance.
Sam suggested three great options for 60 second pitches. Each option is based on three sections; because people like threes. Always start with your name, company name or what you do and speak clearly and slowly. Then finish with the same to remind those that want to get in touch or who missed it, but perhaps include your ‘tag line’ if you have one e.g. for Sam it was “Because communication is not optional” or “Taking you from terrified to terrific”.
Option 1 – Storytelling & Referral
People love stories, especially good news stories so in this case the three sections are:
- Grab their attention with a topical news story it could be good or an example of what to avoid and outline the problem in a couple of sentences.
- Tell them about your solution and how you can or have solved a problem.
- Ask for something e.g. do you know anyone who needs this sort of help … you must ask for something!
Of course the blocks are interchangeable; you need to mix it up if you attend a lot of networking meetings and meet the same people. Oh, and don’t read it! Practice (and time it) and you will become more confident when you are asked to stand up and deliver it.
Option 2 – Market Research & Scarcity
- Deliver some shocking/surprising stats on a subject relevant to your offering and solution.
- Then ask them 1 – 3 questions about what they think about the subject and note the rough percentage of people that agree. (Top Tip from Helen, if you’re asking for the audience to participate and asking for a show of hands put your hand up yourself to encourage others to do it!).
- Then ask a rhetorical question about how you can help and invite them to book with you today for a reason. This is where the scarcity comes in. For example you could make an offer just for this group/week/month, but do make it an honest offer which changes over time so that you remain credible and trustworthy. We only have 24 hours in the day, and we spend a lot of that sleeping, travelling, and looking after our home & family – so it’s not unreasonable to say you have three appointments left this week you’d like to fill.
Option 3 – Anecdote & Special Offer
The third option involves:
- Grabbing attention with an anonymised real story, e.g. I was working with a client last week who had xx problem or needed xx help.
- Tell them about how your service/product solved the problem, including testimonial – don’t be afraid to tell people what you are good at. Top Tip, if you can’t think of anything you are good at ask one of your best friends!
- Tell them about your special limited time offer or event that relates to the anecdote so the audience will think that they want to take up the offer if they feel you are speaking to them and their problem.
Have more than one option up your sleeve and “read the room” to decide what you will use today. The third section of each option is interchangeable between all three options
Stick to telling the room about just one aspect of what you do. The next time you can tell them about something else that you do, e.g. photography one month, videography the next, conversion from VHS to DVD/Blue Ray/Cloud file the following month for someone who is offering all these services. We must stop trying to be all things to all people. It dilutes our message and makes it harder to connect with individuals who might want our services.
These are not the only way to deliver 60 second pitches – they are just three ways that work for Sam Warner.
If you want some face to face or Zoom 1:1 help on crafting your own 60 second pitches from scratch then get in touch with Sam at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07973 490150.
Looking after your Voice
Unfortunately Lucy Heyman, Voice Coach was unable to join us but we were able to follow an exercise she recommends for looking after your voice by the wonders of YouTube!
So if you are someone who needs to communicate as part of their job – teachers, singers, coaches, presenters or you have an exhibition coming up this exercise by VocalZone involves a straw and could help save your voice!
Top tip from Helen and Hollie also hydrate (with water, not coca cola or coffee!!!!).
Becoming Calm and Confident when Speaking
Helen finished with some tips to help your nerves and to come across as more confident and calm while speaking:
- Stand up! Relax, soften knees, if you move a lot, think about rooting your feet into the floor
- If you get a surge of adrenaline and start to feel those panicky nerves breathe through it and let it go. The wave and its effects will only last 90 seconds unless you feed it with extra panic, breathe fully expanding your stomach, relax your shoulders
- Imagine that you’re breathing right down into your feet, rooting yourself further into the floor
- Think about your intention for speaking, Make this a heartfelt intention. Why are you there? Think of one word that sums it up. If you wish to impart knowledge – use the word ‘knowledge’ or ‘wisdom’; if you want to connect with others use the word ‘connection’; if you want to empower people, use the word ’empower’ or simply use the word ‘love’ if you want to be coming from a place of integrity.
- Think about this word before you start speaking, imagine that you are sending the energy of that word out to your audience from your heart.
Join us on the third Thursday of each month at 9.45 am at the Marches Growth Hub, Telford University campus. Tickets are only available in advance and often sell out so join the Facebook group to get first notice and a link to the tickets on EventBrite.
Blog by Kim Gilmour