On Thursday 6th June 2021 we were joined by Maureen McCowen from Soft Skill Success on the topic of ‘How to ACE you pitch’.
It was a well-attended event on a topic that is always of huge value to the members of Chartered Accountants Ireland Interim Managers.
“I’m not good at selling myself”, “It’s hard to explain what I do succinctly” or “I would like more clarity in my pitch” are frequent challenges faced by many business people.
Maureen brought us through the ACE concept – Audience, Content, Engagement – which is applicable whether you’re attending a networking event, presenting to a large audience or attending a pitch meeting with a prospective client.
Maureen spoke about how important it was to know who your audience is, to use only a few facts and figures and keep reference to features and qualifications to a minimum. What you should be trying to ascertain is can you solve the problem of the person you are speaking to?
The content (i.e. what you say) is of equal importance. Make sure you get across the core elements – tell them your name and business name, have a clear ‘base sentence’ (discussed later) and a call to action.
Try and frame your base sentence around: “We help X to do Y by doing Z so that…”
This ensures you cover:
who the client is
you know what problem they have
you have a solution
and you know what the result can be for them
Ensure eye contact – even in these virtual times make sure to look at the camera ensuring you are engaged with your audience.
Keep it short – 120 words approx.
Make sure you are not speaking too quickly, so that the audience can hear and understand what you are saying.