Although in-person meetings are starting to happen again, virtual meetings still remain an option, and may be a necessity with teams and prospects in different locations. Plus, virtual meetings offer benefits like zero travel time and expenses. If you’re preparing for a business pitch that’s taking place online, try these tips to level up your presentation.
The Key Message
This one is first because it’s most important. Don’t make your audience wait for or guess what your key point is. Make it loud and clear. Why are you here? There should be one thing you want everyone to remember, and it should be woven in throughout the presentation. Use storytelling in a way that will resonate with your audience emotionally, making them feel a strong connection to your narrative. It’s key not to overwhelm participants by keeping the main message clear, with strong imagery and visuals. Think about it this way: “If my audience remembers one thing from my presentation, I would want it to be [X].”
Know Your Audience
Spend some time researching who will be “in the room.” Consider each stakeholder’s background and how you might adjust the pitch accordingly. With resources such as LinkedIn, you can get an understanding of who will be in the meeting, their job title, and background, before the meeting even begins. Make sure you customize your message to the client’s business and show them how your products or services could benefit them. And don’t forget to introduce your team, too! You can review names and job titles, but also include your “why.” Make your purpose clear by explaining what you offer and why you do it.
Have a Strong Presence
Keep in mind that your body language comes across even in a virtual meeting. To get an idea of how you naturally appear, record yourself during a practice presentation and play it back. Do you need to talk with your hands more? Less? Loosen up? Before your meeting starts, do whatever you can to relax yourself. When you’re presenting, stand up straight and be confident. And while you are at a separate location, you should still dress professionally. This can affect the way you feel and present. Finally, fake it ‘til you make it. Great presenters aren’t confident 100% of the time, but the best ones make you think they are.
Create An Engaging Pitch Deck
You want to make your presentation educational yet engaging with strong visuals and data. Information can be represented and further emphasized with the right treatment, making it memorable. A polished deck can be a winning component to your sales pitch.
Invest in Technology
We’ve all been there: there’s an echo on the call, someone is not muted who should be, or the mics weren’t tested. Before you start, test to make sure everyone on the call is set up correctly and has a stable internet connection. If your image freezes or the prospect can’t understand what you’re saying, it definitely hurts first impressions. High-quality conferencing software and access to tools like ring lights, headsets, and microphones helps team members look and feel like pros. Above all, be prepared for technical glitches. We all encounter technical difficulties, and in today’s world people are understanding, but ensuring you’re prepared from the start will make it that much easier to address any mishaps.
Delivering a successful pitch, whether in-person or online, requires practice. Even with experience, rehearsals are important, since each prospect is different. As mentioned previously, recording your run-through and playing it back, while slightly cringe-inducing, can help you evaluate your presentation style and take a look at what you might want to change. You can also practice with friends or colleagues and ask for honest feedback. Try not to memorize your pitch like a script, but review it until you know you’re comfortable presenting. The goal is to strike a balance where you’re thoroughly prepared but also able to be authentic.
Whether your pitch is in-person or online, there’s just one chance for you to leave an impression. Refine your next presentation with these tips and then repeat the process for ongoing success. If you find yourself needing help, whether it’s more tips for presenting or guidance on developing a pitch deck template, don’t be afraid to reach out to our team for a chat.