“If you want to understand how a lion hunts, don’t go to the zoo. Go to the jungle.” – Jim Stengel
Leap Challenge this week:
- When you’re prepping for a conversation or a pitch, ask yourself: Who am I talking to? What do they most care about? How can I tailor my comments specifically to them?
- Act like every second counts in front of other people
I recently attended a conference with a pitch competition. The conference was decent – but the pitching competition gave me a new aha insight about knowing the audience.
The competition was setup up so that there were 2 parts:
Before lunch, 2 minute pitches were given to the audience and received an electronic audience vote.
Later, the top 3 winners pitched to a group panel of around 8 investors as well as the larger audience.
The pitch that was the most popular in the greater audience was not the most well-received by the investor panel – and the reasons were illuminating:
- The guy pitching was too promotional about the product and not about how the business would succeed
- The investors wanted to be confident in the person, not just the idea. So the person who pitched with the most authority and authenticity edged the others out.
- The top 2 pitching started creating an impact even as they were coming on stage – no waiting, no easing into the presentation – just all there immediately. Every second counts and first impressions start getting measured in the first second.
My takeaways were:
Speak to the investors – know what they want to hear, not what I want to say.
Command attention immediately in a relevant and fun way.
Be authoritative AND personable.
My final aha: this is the same no matter the situation or the vehicle. ALWAYS speak to the audience that matters directly, command attention, and be personal.