Cabbages to Colanders…
From cabbages to colanders, cricket bats to cucumbers and rubber chickens to cotton wool, the jury is out on whether props prove a positive addition to your networking pitch.
Whether we love them or hate them the serial networkers amongst us will have all seen our fair share of artefacts aimed at illustrating the essence of a business pitch.
Well, today I was asked my view on what benefits props add to the occasion and whether it is ever a good idea to wear a silly hat when networking.
My pitch should be MEMORABLE, shouldn’t it?
The idea of a 60 second pitch is to catch the attention of your audience but serves little benefit if they only remember the prop and not what you had to say. How often have your heard people mention ‘the guy who carries the grapefruit’ or ‘the lady with the rubber ring’ yet when asked to recall their name or business activity nobody really knows? The only way to be truly memorable is for your pitch to resonate with your audience. It is about the way you make your audience think and feel. No more. If you still feel that you MUST use a prop, make sure it is entirely relevant.
- So, what counts as a RELEVANT prop?
Well, that depends entirely on your line of business. For example, nobody would employ a photographer without having viewed their work so a photographer should always bring a visual reference to demonstrate their style. Similarly a jeweller or a potter would be crazy not to bring a sample of their craft to show. People buy products with their eyes. These examples would count as ‘samples’ rather than props and are therefore, completely RELEVANT.
- I don’t MAKE anything so how can I ILLUSTRATE what I have to offer?
Depending on your line of business there will almost certainly be key messages that you wish to convey to your audience. These are likely to change from time to time and, if you are from a service industry, will need to appeal to a wide range of needs and wants.
Bringing a visual aid to demonstrate a service is likely to be at best, confusing, at worst, a disaster. So, use word PICTURES.
Channel your creative energy into crafting a story, an example of how you have helped clients in the past, tell the true story of what difference you can make to the life of your listener.
- But what if I offer MULTIPLE services and/or products?
Every time you stand up to deliver your pitch, you MUST have a clear objective. Are you looking for clients? Are you seeking to collaborate with others in the room? Are you trying to connect with a specific person? Whatever your aim you should ALWAYS be specific about who you are speaking to. Trying to appeal to everyone in the room is NEVER going to work.
And finally, remember, your pitch is NOT about tomorrow, it is about the here and now. Your pitch is NOT about selling, it is about fishing. Your pitch is NOT about being clever, it is about being real.
If you need help in crafting, tailoring and delivering a PERFECT PITCH, contact Heather Noble on 07843 006984 for details of forthcoming workshops or to book your private 1-2-1 session