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Be Your Own Self, Be Original

This article is written by Mohammad Eslim, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Amy Tez is an actress turned Performance Coach who uses her unique blend of acting and transformational experience to change the way you communicate your business forever. She will share her insights into creating a Winner’s Pitch so that no matter who you are talking to, you will own the “stage”.

Most of us have been put in a situation where we are standing in front of people and had to do or say something like a pitch or a presentation. Of course we are bound to be nervous as it is very much normal to be when something of matter and consequences is about to be said or done by humble you!

Here I’m going to give you tips on how to do your pitch with presence and, more importantly, authenticity. And by that I mean being able to give your pitch from perspective of yourself and no one else, to be original. It actually appears that to be authentic, more specifically being ourselves, is proven very hard to do; problems like worrying about fitting in and trying to be as amazing as others are the common problems hindering us from being the most important person which is our own selves.

First step is to be relaxed, take a breath and get into the moment relaxed, that way you are not worrying so much about impressing any investor. And talk a bit slower and think more clearly about what you are saying and say it with clarity; because the investor is focusing on you not the product. You, being yourself, speaking clearly about yourself and your strengths and weaknesses is what matters to the investor. Products can change, ideas never stay the same but you are the attractive proposition.

Second tip, mistakes are never mistakes as there is no better way to learn so be thankful for your screw ups! Don’t be nervous about it just let yourselves go and cut yourselves some slack.

Several public speaking coaches might have told you to focus on your body language more than the actual words you say in the presentation, which is not true. Your choice of words during a pitch is very important, that is why you have to be specific and more concise, explain in your words what exactly is the problem, how you solve it and why should they care about solving it. However, that doesn’t mean that your body language should not be taken into consideration, on the quite opposite, you should stand straight and tall never forgetting to project using a strong, clear voice.

There are three factors to make a powerful pitch; structure, simplicity and personal impact. The thing about structure is about starting your pitch with the most compelling feature of your company; you will grab their attention talking about the problem you are solving and why is that so important.

Simplicity, do not talk too much which also means not to over explain. So many words makes people loose attention and start thinking about lunch, new mobile app and their unread emails.

As I mentioned before, be concise and think of the key points, say them first in less time and words. Be careful not to use technical terms or put too many words and in a minute or you will not only loose people’s attention but the investors’ too!

We have gone over a few points regarding personal impact; breath, posture and voice were listed so moving on to an equally important communication skill during pitching is eye contact.

Even if it is scary, eye contact breaks barriers down and when you are engaged in eye contact with people your idea gets through their minds and they stay tuned with you the whole time. As for facial expressions and gestures, sometimes fear make you look frozen which gets you with a speech of you word vomiting or you stuttering through your words. Relax and view people and investors as your friends, and know that your audience is here to present you an opportunity and is not posing a threat. So move when you want and gesture as you feel right, be yourself.

Don’t underestimate the communication skills and most people will ignore them in order to work on the slides but don’t be fooled! Communication will get your idea across, and all those points should make your pitch perfect. Don’t forget that you are one in a billion so be original!

12 October 2019

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