More than ever before, now is the time to innovate. You want to come up with new concepts to move your organization forward through these difficult times. Sometimes we get them… Sometimes you really believe: “This is it!”. But how do you get your colleagues as enthusiastic for your brilliant idea as you are? And to make it even more challenging, how do you do that over a video call?
Throughout the years at MTI², we’ve built some expertise in pitching new concepts, both off- and online. By pitching ourselves, and by coaching innovators to build concept pitches that rock. Here are some useful tips for pitching in digital meetings:
1) Focus on one customer
When pitching your idea, it is important to have a clear customer focus. In virtual meetings, this is even more important. Given that you lack some of the subtler cues of face-to-face communication, you want to explain things simply. If your pitch tries to sell different solution for different types of customers, it will lack focus. So imagine your idea can only solve the need of one customer, which one would you chose? Build the rest of your pitch around how your idea will help this person, and hence creates value for your organization. For more info on the power of focus, check out our blogpost on ‘Jailhouse call, Google and the power of focus’.
2) Develop your pitch with a clear structure in mind
Structure your arguments. At MTI², we usually follow the structure of an idea nugget. First, you explain how your innovative idea creates value: what’s the customer’s pain, how you solve the problem, and how you differentiate from competitors. Next, you explain how your company will benefit from this and what hurdles you see. You can end with who you would need in your team to make the idea a success!
3) Keep it short, but don’t rush
We all know keeping our attention to presentations can be difficult, especially in virtual meetings. So, keep your pitch short. Do not rush through the details, you can still discuss them after if people like your idea. Typically, a couple of minutes should be enough for people to build their first opinion. If they don’t like the idea, it is better to hear their opinion rather fast, than wasting time explaining things to people that then just get lost. You will probably need to go back to the customer's pain again and explain it more thoroughly.
Do you still want to do a long pitch or do you have multiple ideas? Foresee regular breaks in which colleagues can ask questions, so you’re sure they are following your reasoning.
4) Present with energy and confidence
Show that you believe in your idea. Why would someone think it's a brilliant idea if the presenter seems not to believe so? Be confident that your colleagues will value the fact that you want to move the company forward with your ideas. If you show energy, your audience will be energetic listeners. Even if they don’t like the original idea, you will trigger them to pivot the idea into a more promising direction.
5) Make sure you’re on the screen
Studies show that body language is crucial for communication effectiveness. So, even in a virtual meeting room, you want people to look at you. Of course, slides can be useful to support your point. But you can maybe share them beforehand and your colleagues can look at them on a second screen. If you want them to follow you through the presentation, frequently recap which slide you are in and indicate what to look at. Alternatively, you can switch between you and your slides during the pitch, or use a split-screen option.
Download our pitch tool here.