The starting point of any pitch, presentation or speech is your audience. Research your audience. Who are they? Why should they care? How are they going to benefit? Find an emotional connection between you and your audience.
Structure your pitch, presentation or speech in a story format with a ‘wow’ opening, three to five main points, a closing with a summary overlapping with your opening, a thank you for your audience and an action or focus for the future.
Ensure that there is a logical link between your points. Take the audience by the hand, step by step, through your speech, pitch or presentation.
Keep your pitch, presentation or speech as concise, clear and simple as possible. Let there be no room for confusion.
Engage and entertain your audience with relevant examples and anecdotes that they will remember.
Vary the pitch and pace of your voice. Use pause and emphasis.
Ensure that you have a confident posture, with your shoulders back and your feet fixed to the floor. Keep your hands by your sides, and gesture normally. Use eye contact and maintain a pleasant facial expression.
Nerves are normal – just learn to manage them. Breathe mindfully, use visualisation and/or positive affirmations. Shift the focus from yourself to getting the message across to your audience. Change the spotlight on you to a floodlight on the audience.
Practise your pitch, presentation or speech as often as possible. Speak from the heart.
Be interested and passionate about the topic of your speech, pitch or presentation. It will have a ripple effect on your audience.