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Ensuring success in pitching over video calls | Slangbusters Blog
Jun 3, '20

Ensuring success in pitching over video calls

The post-COVID world will ensure elevator pitches to not only be unwelcomed, but also unsanitary.

Starting stat, entrepreneurs will have to start pitching over zoom calls, since not just skype, but even elevator pitches have become a thing of the past. Entire organizations, nay, economies are moving to digital. Google has asked its employees to work from home until the end of the year 2021. Twitter has made sure their employees can work from home indefinitely and has also promised allowances to build home offices for its employees. This has not only ensured global access to the talent pool for companies that will not be limited by geography. For investors and entrepreneurs, this has ensured presenting pitches via video calling even if they are neighbors.

Apart from the technical and technological aspect, which includes a solid uninterrupted connection to the internet, and professional attire at least above the waist, there are quite a few things that, if taken care of, can increase the chances of your pitch to be considered.

A still from the movie "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara"

Consider yourself lucky if you have landed a meeting with someone who wants to actually have a look at your pitch. Given the effect of the pandemic on the economy, a lot of investors have stopped inviting pitches. Also, since one can pitch virtually from anywhere, there will be more people pitching to the same investor with limited investment and multiple ideas. All in all, we should be ready for a virtual episode of Shark Tank.

The new normal

Even after we win the war with the virus, the world will not be able to jump back to the way things were. Because of the pandemic, organizations realized a lot of things, including the fact that they might not even need a physical office space to function.

Entrepreneurs have to adapt to this new way of going about doing business. Pitching over video calls might be a thing that stays even we don’t have to maintain social distancing anymore.

The nature of a presentation is exhibitionist.

A pitch should contribute to conveying the idea, not act as a distraction from it.

Flashiness was not welcome before, it won’t be now. If they wanted a Cirque du Soliel performance, they will go to broadway when things get better. No need to use tricks, that might have you come off as someone who doesn’t believe in their own ideas and need the flashy support of artifice to get them to like your pitch.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Small and effective ways to pitch would be using the presentation you have prepared for presentation purposes only. Separate the show and tell. Have a script handy with content that talks about the slide, don’t just read it out. Professional practice is to send a report/summary beforehand as a touchpoint that they can take away after the presentation so that they don’t miss any significant points.

Presentation for exhibition, a document for explanation.

A spark of chemistry

The most difficult part of making a presentation via zoom is its inability to give you those moments that build pitching chemistry between both parties. Staring at a screen might make it difficult, if not impossible to have that.

Make sure the technical part of the presentation is sound and perfect to not let the flow break, and make it as close to an in-person meeting as possible. As much as it is difficult, adapting to these new methods will be easier, given we have been using the technology for quite a while.

Read the room, fill the room

First impressions are equally necessary. It will be rather easier to break the ice, and start the conversation without it seeming like small talk. given the home setting, the general level of comfort for all parties involved would be higher. Ensure that post the presentation, you end on a lighter note which could be about something outside of work. This will make sure, even if your pitch might not be successful, you have a network at your disposal for the future. Don’t burn the bridges.

Record it- but take consent.

Unlike face-to-face meetings, there is a scope for you to not just record your meetings, but use it for constructive feedback, and some introspection about where you did wrong, and more importantly, what you did right. This will help you get better with each presentation and give you confidence about the way you are communicating.

Photo by Abigail Low on Unsplash

But remember, most videocall softwares will show if the call is being recorded. Nonetheless, you should ask for the consent of all parties involved. This will give a professional, respectful and transparent perception about you and your pitch. The presentation starts before the presentation.

Transparency and truth will be timeless ingredients of a successful pitch.

No better time to be direct and succinct

People around the world are resting. Cities that never sleep have empty roads in the middle of the day. Everyone is staying home, spending time with their families, pursuing long lost hobbies, finishing up on Netflix binging. Generally, they are taking more time off work.

Photo by United Nations on Unsplash

This does not mean you hog up that time. It will be very easy to bore someone who is not even in the same room, who is watching the presentation, just like a reporter reporting the weather- on a screen. Be direct with your points, be succinct. There is no place for the mambo-jumbo in an online meeting.

Utilize platform features

Now you do not have to be a tech whiz to use the features of a software anymore. It has been made very user friendly. For instance, the Zoom feature to change backgrounds doesn’t need a green screen and chroma key. You can innovate and present with imagery behind you, so that the whole presentation doesn’t look like a podcast. You can actually make it more engaging

Nup, not without the challenges- the Zoom shortcoming

Tech is as much a hurdle as it is an advancement in the way things function. It cannot replace the human element. Not yet. A lot rides on the physical aspect. The same reason the newspaper industry has not died, humans are social animals and have a thing or two for the physical aspect. Talking to a screen can not and will never be able to replace that stimulus. There will be something always lacking in a video call pitch and now we know what.

A pitch is not just emotional, it is rational too. A face-to-face conversation is important to build trust, communicate wholly, and have a fruitful collaboration. Sooner than later, local pitches will migrate back to conference rooms but a good pitch will always have a design+strategy+story approach for maximum effectiveness.

Pitching a new idea has a thrill to it. Don’t lose it over a boring presentation.

No, they will not remember what you said, but they will remember what they felt after listening to your pitch. Let’s create something that doesn’t just convince, but tickles the brain and touches the heart. Contact us to get access to our team of designers, writers, and strategists to portray your idea with the intensity it deserves.

— by Manas, Content Strategist, Slangbusters Studio

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