Both pitches I looked forward to. Over the years we have done countless presentations so I am quite used to them, and probably shamefully - I enjoy the limelight. But these were pitches so they were a little different. You pitch your idea knowing your audience is in a critical mindset and ‘your baby’ is on the pedestal. So a little nerves is acceptable I think. When it came to my first pitch (2 minute pitch) my idea was still in its early stages so I wasn’t fully confident and knowledgable about the idea - I didn’t even have the brand name. This is evident when you watch it back as I am looking at my iPad for cues and mildly hesitant showing I wasn’t totally confident with it at the time. Due to me looking down at my notes my voice becomes obscured, so sometimes it almost seemed like I was mumbling as I had my head looking down which is annoying for the audience and doesn’t make for a good speaker! I ‘err’ and ‘um’ a fair bit which on hindsight is such a bad habit as it shows lack of knowledge and exposes the lack of forethought in your presentation, so I was annoyed at that. It is a habit that happens to everyone all the time, but still it is not acceptable to do in a pitch as it totally throws your audience off - and I don’t blame them! Also I don’t think that my words flowed as well in the first pitch as they could of, and because of that it was a bit stop-start which is off putting. And when coupled with a static stance it could well have been a boring pitch to those in the audience. Admittedly as we weren't allowed visual material this meant I was just going to be speaking, but if I was to do a pitch with no visuals again I would at least move about a little bit to walk closer to the left and right every now and then to engage with the audience. Maybe even widen the tonal range of my voice during the pitch at specific points to keep people switched on highlighting important facts and figures for example in my presentation.
So when it came to my 5 minute pitch I had rehearsed it quite a bit and was familiar with a few phrases and figures as I had used them in the 2 minute pitch. The overall path of my presentation was set in my mind from the moment I started preparing for it, so it was relatively straight forward to have an idea of what I was going to say after each point I made. I don’t like to have a script, I prefer to have talking points as it sounds more natural so this worked really well for me in my opinion. Once everyone was in the lecture room I jumped at the opportunity to go first, as it shows confidence and determination plus you set the bar and simply get it out of the way! I wanted to start the presentation with a super simple way to explain the problem, and that was a basic equation “person who likes surfing + no transport = problem” which instantly highlighted the issue and cemented the target audience into the viewers minds. I played this equation card in a slightly tongue in cheek way at the end, to end on a basic recap that was clear and light hearted which I thought worked well! I made sure I had a few statistics to back up my claims and use as talking points as it shows I have researched the idea and also found problems that are being found out. One thing I felt I did much better in the 5 minute pitch was making sure I looked at the audience, focusing on each person for a few seconds each to create a connection and show confidence. As in my 2 minute pitch I wasn’t able to do that as much because I was constantly looking at my notes! But when it came to bad points of my 5 minute pitch I felt the bit that ruined an otherwise good pitch was around half way through, struggling to pronounce “specifically”. I recovered well and acted like nothing happened but it was a struggle to make sure I didn’t laugh (as I found it funny) or hit my head against the wall (as I also was so annoyed about it). Im sure a few nerves contributed, but I felt confident at the time and it just seemed to be a little bit of moment when my brain couldn't get the word out! Nevertheless I carried on like nothing happened and took a small moment to take a breath and carry on. Making sure I pointed to the information on my following slide to get the viewer looking at the data to not only take it in, but to detract from my minor slip up and carry on!
All in all I think my 5 minute pitch was a great improvement from my first (2 minute) pitch. I displayed confidence, presented facts, interacted with my slides and conveyed my idea well to an attentive audience. I only had two questions that weren’t answered in my slides that I will make sure to cover in my next pitch. Admittedly I still said ‘um’ a couple of times but fortunately no where near as much as I did in the 2 minute pitch, and I think my fluidity managed to mask it anyway. Sure I struggled to pronounce a word as well but I managed to get a hold of the situation and carry on like normal, saving a potentially pitch ruining event. Looking forward - to continue to improve I need to make sure I don’t say ‘um’ at all, keep myself slightly animated with my hands and expressions to bring a little excitement to the presentation, use more facts and figures to backup my points, keep looking at the audience and finally smile more conveying my confidence in my idea!
^ 5 Minute Pitch
^ 2 Minute Pitch