Communication is at the heart of business development. Public speaking and communication are fundamental for the entrepreneur to be able to carry out his business and develop it. Know how to explain the objectives to your team in meetings, transmit information to your client, debate with your collaborators on specific points of the strategy to be implemented, know how to convince investors or the public of the quality of your product or service. . Here are some practical tips for preparing your oral presentation.
So many speaking circumstances that require you to be focused and serious about dedicating yourself upstream to your communication technique. Steve Jobs was a true orator capable of transforming simple oral interventions into facts that aroused the curiosity of the public and their applause. For others, the mere prospect of speaking triggers intense feelings of stress and stage fright.
Several studies point out that the ability to actively speak in front of an audience is the most revealing element for success in the business world. Thus, each entrepreneur spends an average of more than three hours a day trying to persuade different protagonists such as their collaborators, their suppliers, their investors or their clients. In order to convince an audience and ensure that your speech runs smoothly, preparatory work is essential, before and during the speech.
Prepare your upstream intervention
Before the entrepreneur embarks on an event, a conference or any type of public speech, he must first of all accurately prepare his speech. He is bound to determine his goals by asking himself the right questions: “What audience am I targeting? An audience of experts, young or international? », « What is the purpose of my intervention? », « What is my strategy? », « What is the message I want to share? ». The answer to these questions will allow the business manager to know where he is going and fix the substance of his oral presentation. After having established this first point, he must write down the different elements that he wishes to include in his speech, in order, at the end, to establish a precise plan for the speech. So it is preferable to define a guideline, a framework to be respected from the beginning to the end. Then it’s time to prepare to speak, through various simulations. This allows you to have a precise idea of the intervention time, identify the aspects that are not right and prepare yourself mentally and gesturally to deliver a speech that lasts. There are several ways to deliver a speech by reading, memorizing, or reciting flashcards. Generally speaking, reading or reciting a presentation is not recommended: it removes the natural side and the audience hardly cares about someone whose face is immersed in their papers. Memorizing the presentation seems to be the best approach, but you have to be well prepared, otherwise you will forget everything at the time of the event. Practicing in front of a mirror with gestures and voice controls to rehearse your speech can be helpful, but doing it in front of trusted people like family members is more effective. They thus provide comments on the parts that arouse their interest or boredom the most, which provides added value.
Identify the location and setting of the speech in advance.
Having meticulously prepared his speech, the entrepreneur must know in advance the place and setting of his speech. It’s a way to feel more comfortable and reduce stress while he prepares his space before the crucial moment to ensure that he is fully productive. In the case of webinars with employees, it remains simple as the manager knows them. But if he has to talk to people he meets for the first time, the need to carefully study the scenario that his interlocutors will see is essential. The leader can thus choose the best disposition that he needs to be in full possession of his means, like an actor preparing his scene. The fact of clearly delimiting the space of the intervention will also allow all possible modifications to be made to fine-tune the necessary conditions for the oral presentation to seduce or challenge it.
Reduce stress and stage fright through exercises
While some people feel totally comfortable in front of any audience, others see their stress level and stage fright increase as they get closer to their speech. With the consequences, reverberating in particular on the breath and the body, essential elements to ensure a speech. To manage its different elements, practical exercises can be configured. First abdominal breathing exercises that will allow the entrepreneur to relax before entering the scene. Square breathing, a relaxation technique derived from yoga, preferably performed lying down, is helpful. It is practiced only through the nose and takes place in four stages where each breath is equal to the other: inhalation, retention with full lungs (blocking the breath), exhalation and then retention with empty lungs. The other beneficial exercise is to visualize your speech to chase away fears that can paralyze your voice and promote stress. Simply picturing yourself as an exceptional speaker who masters his topic and generates support, or thinking of something positive that makes him happy, helps reduce the pressure.
It can be at a party, at a meetup, at a meeting, in an elevator… The opportunity to sell your project can arise anytime and anywhere, and you must prepare for it. Create a good speech, short, that impacts and generates new opportunities: prepare your summarized in seconds.
Today we are going to see what it consists of and how to condense your value proposition and conquer your interlocutor in less than a minute. Learn the keys to generating a powerful pitch and get inspired by a few examples to create your own. Shall we start?
What is an elevator pitch?
A summarized in seconds This is a brief presentation in which you explain who you are, what you do, what your company or project looks like and what you can bring to your interlocutor. The idea isn’t to sell right away or close the deal instantly, but to pique the listener’s interest so much that they want to know more in a future interview or meeting.
This technique is not new, at least since the 1980s, it is used by entrepreneurs who want to obtain shareholders for their companies or projects.
The concept of the elevator pitch is that in seconds -how long is an elevator ride- being able to show your best attributes to convince the target that you are worth knowing.
It’s about taking advantage of an opportunity in a free time slot on the target’s agenda, or even a chance meeting. Either way, you only have 30-60 seconds.
What is an elevator pitch used for?
Always having a good elevator pitch ready will help take advantage of small windows of opportunity to talk to a potential investor or customer.
This is very important, especially if your business is little known or new. It’s not just about making a hole, but about stand out among the options to consider.
Another utility of elevator speeches is generate opportunitiesgenerate interest so that they consider you as an option.
Moreover, you cannot leave a business opportunity to chance, therefore, having a well-defined speech will allow you to harness every second and make it productive for your aspirations.
Keys to developing an impactful elevator pitch
Now that you know what an elevator pitch is, you need to know the keys to creating one that works. So take note of the following:
1. Honesty and simplicity
Do not use false information or exaggerate your qualities, it will only scare the target. If he falls into the trap, you won’t be able to sustain the lie.
In addition, if you use words that are too technical, your interlocutor may not understand anything you are saying. Therefore, make a good combination between professional and easy to understand language.
2. Be close, but not casual
You The tone of voice should reflect confidence and be cordial. Don’t look pretentious or overly proud.
Speak with enough enthusiasm to infect your interlocutor, but don’t become a clown. And for nothing in the world are you too confident or boastful.
3. Be ready to give more information
You need to be prepared to give more information if the target asks, because you don’t know if they’ll want to talk to you right now or if they have questions about your business.
Think about the possible questions he would ask you.
Do not invent information or speculate, it is better to make an appointment for a future occasion in which you have all the information.
4. Be natural and flowy
Although you must memorize what you will say, try to be as natural as possibleit doesn’t look like you are a player assigned the button to play.
And while it’s normal to have some nerves, you need to learn to control them so that when delivering your pitch, they don’t grab all the attention and distract from the information you’re imparting.
5. Be adaptable
Whatever goal you want to achieve, you have to prepare your elevator speech so that it reaches all kinds of people.
So prepare not only a pitch for the CEO of the company, but also for its CMO, secretary or any other manager who might give you an opportunity.
This also applies to the environment, as you don’t necessarily have to wait to get in the elevator to present your pitch.
Your opportunity can come anywhere, so always be ready to talk.
How long should an elevator pitch be?
The duration of the elevator pitch is another factor to pay attention to, as it is not a long presentation.
It is correct that you are using 30 to 60 seconds of your interlocutor to tell him everything that is important about you.
Remember, it’s not about making a deal right now, it’s about gaining the opportunity for a later meeting where you can expand on a lot more information, i.e. say a no bridge.
How to prepare a lightning pitch in 8 steps?
Creating an elevator pitch is a process you need to know how to execute in order to ensure its success. Specifically, there are 6 steps that make up this process.
Step 1: Work with a structure
The first thing is to know that you have to create a structure and stick to this order so that your speech has coherence. This way you will get more attention from your audience.
Step 2: Grab their attention with the first sentence
Start with a surprising question or comment to grab your interviewer’s attention.
If you can, use the power of storytelling to connect with your listener and better remember your proposal.
Step 3: Introduce yourself
Say who you are and what you do in your business, ie your position or profession.
Avoid talking too much about yourself, because unless you are “the product”, the interlocutor is not interested in the studies you have carried out or how much you have collaborated for your company.
So only use a few seconds for this information, you only have time to grab and hold the person’s attention, after which they will mentally disconnect.
Step 4: What problems are you solving?
It’s time to touch the sensitive point of your person buyer, who can be your interlocutor.
What problems are you solving, needs or aspirations are you fulfilling?
Be direct and don’t expand too much in this section either. With one or two lines, it’s enough to cover what matters to your goal.
Step 5: What solutions do you offer?
What is your value proposition? What benefits do your customers get?
After you stir up the problem, show her how you solve it.
Step 6: Generate Interest and Commitment
It is important that you talk about the results you have already achieved with your business. To do this, you can use compelling numbers that show it’s profitable, the audience likes it, or there’s room for growth.
This allows the potential partner or client to see that there is value in your proposition. Data always provides authority and trust and helps visualize the proposition.
Step 7: Close with a call to action
End the speech with a call to action.
Suggest a date, date, or date so he can get to know your project better.
Step 8: Check and Fix
Once you’ve finished your elevator pitch, read it aloud and ask someone else to listen to you and give advice on what they’re not convinced of.
Don’t fall in love with the first idea, keep in mind that you might have to redo it, or at least delete or change something, until it’s perfect. Look at the reactions of your interlocutors and the number of times you reach your goal. Only then can you see if you are on the right track.
Examples of elevator pitch
Now let’s see how the previous steps are applied in the following two examples of elevator pitches:
Example 1: Generation of a “pain point”
“Do you know that the main problem in the advertising impression market lies precisely in the impression?
Since I started in this business 10 years ago, I have noticed that companies are always so focused on production that they forget to communicate their message well.
But in our case, we work side-by-side with our clients to create advertising designs that help them achieve their goals, both in form and content.
During the last campaign, we doubled the conversion rate.
Want to show you how we did it? ».
Example 2: Using a positive statistic
“My last client was very happy because my team saved him 30% of costs thanks to the implementation of a CRM.
And it is that we are official partners of the best suppliers of these systems, therefore, we know which one to use in each case to develop the activity of our customers.
If you want, I could show you which option is best for your business.
Do you want me to come see you next week? »
An uplifting pitch or an uplifting speech is a very important resource for taking advantage of every opportunity to get in front of the right people, whether it’s an investor, client or potential partner. But whatever goal you have, what you need to do is work hard on it by following the steps we indicate.
Remember that this is a short speech of about 30-60 seconds, and the idea is to land an appointment for a subsequent interview in which you can expand on the attractive information you have just to present.
Always be ready to carry on the conversation and be sure of what you say, so your elevator pitch will be persuasive and help you achieve your goals.
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When you move in the professional world, you must always be on the alert. There are things that can go wrong and therefore also sink you on a personal level.
What can go wrong will go wrong. This is not a pessimist’s belief but reality. If you’ve been around for nearly two decades like I have, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
In fact, I lived two phases in my professional career. In the first, I was at a time when everything was not going as planned. It was very fair in terms of income. In this phase, it is almost normal for bad news to be accompanied by a second bad news. When things go wrong, they tend to get worse. It may be because subconsciously your attitude is negative and you attract one disaster after another even though you don’t want to.
Right now, I’m in the opposite phase. Positive events accumulate. Good news follows the next. I told you recently that I had taken a step back because a big client had not renewed my contract. It turns out that yesterday I had a meeting where another manager from the same company offered to transfer me to his team. I accepted but on condition of increasing my salary. So I’m still in the business but I earn more. Not a bad change. It’s a perfect example of the phase I’m in.
What people call the “law of attraction” works for the people around me too. I just had my brother a client who allows him to start a new project for which he did not have the capital to date. It’s a great feeling, but you can never trust and be too sure.
ask yourself this question
Although my attitude is positive, I also always ask myself this question. What can go wrong? I try to prepare myself for the worst possible scenario. Being in a positive dynamic, it is normal for negative events to also occur. If you are not prepared for it, you may not be able to deal with the situation as it should. Anticipating that this might happen is not something that surprises you. You assume that you are now faced with an unpleasant topic. Instead of complaining about the injustice of the world, you attack it like a man or a woman and fix it.
Bet everything but always within the limit of what you can afford
To take your business to the next level, you need to make one bet after another. You leave what you know and enter uncharted territory without knowing where you will end up at the end of the journey. You must love this unpleasant but at the same time incredibly fun feeling.
When you make a bet, you have to be able to afford to be wrong. Right now we are going to bet 10-20,000 with new brands for Amazon. It is a relevant number for us and perhaps very humble for others who evolve on this platform. Could we bet more? If that would be possible. Could we recover quickly in case things go wrong in this higher risk scenario? Everything is possible but the damage would be much greater.
Never neglect the things that are going well
We must create new flows of money but we cannot neglect what is already doing well. In our case, it is the sale on Amazon of third-party products. Here we continue to raise the bar with brands like Lego or Pokémon. It’s too “easy” if you know what you’re doing. Of course, that last sentence is a three-year learning process that invests 250-500k in Lego.
We are on the right track but we must always be ready to take a step back. The way you handle these crisis situations will get you out of them sooner. Minimize the surprise factor. It’s not easy to think of all the bad things that can happen when you’re on a nearly perfect wave.
Fundraising is a complex and sometimes decisive operation for the survival of companies. She does not improvise! Far too many entrepreneurs launch a fundraising request without knowing the tenants and the outcomes of such an approach. Here are a few things to help you prepare well and maximize your chances of success.
Preparation: a basis
It is the rarest of encounters with business leaders who embark on a request for a level with two main motivations:
- I will respond to a development project
- I will respond to a cash flow problem.
It is a question of having, obviously, the answer to four fundamental questions: What is your Project? What do you want to fund? For what amount? What is your share of the investment in the project?
The work does not stop there at all since you must know how to answer other questions that generally interest your investors and in particular those relating to their capital outflows. The law understands that a majority of them do not intend to remain ad vitam aeternam within your structure and live off the profits of the business. In the majority of cases, they want to exit one day, which very often happens when a company buys their share or when an investment fund arrives. They must therefore be aware of a certain potential of the company or of a particular interest in what you do for certain companies.
The keys to good preparation
It is still useful to pose the subject and shed light on the essential prerequisites for the implementation of a fundraising approach. To be effective, you have to be effective, so it’s the director’s ability to make the right investment by setting up the project, to have a preliminary diagnosis carried out and give the fundraising program every chance.
It must be carried out before any requests for aid, subsidies, competitions or entry into the capital, which generally results in the presence of a business plan making it possible to highlight the activity, the organization of the company, its modes of operation, the necessary needs and the resources to be found. Once again you need to monitor the proper use of funds, reduce your economic capacity and the proper management of affairs. This work can be appointed to an expert in financial optimization, which guarantees you all the objectivity of his analysis but can have a cost.
On what is this diagnosis called “Due Diligence” carried out?
It is based on current activity but also on the future through:
- the provisional budget for the financial year with regard to the commitments made
- the profitability of the activity with regard to the resale price, the positions of the thoughts, …
- the visibility of cash with regard to internal processes
- management visibility on the reporting tools used
More also on development projects through:
- the development and planning strategy envisaged for its realization
- the relevance of the Business Model on the Product/Market couple and its valuation
- The provisional budget and the necessary resources
- Business plan and profitability outlook
You will apprehend the investment effort as an effective partner, who will bring you the skills for success in your project.