If you open your pitch like a pro, you can not end as an amateur. To continue helping you become a true pitch professional with total control over your presentation, this week David helps you focus on the final part of your pitch. It is really important to have a strong finish, and in this article the Pitch Guru of Amsterdam will explain you how to create one.
Doing it wrong
‘Uhm, well. That was it….ehm, any questions?’ This is where it goes wrong. Ending your pitch without a strong well thought-out end, that’s not a good idea. Your audience won’t know whether you are done yet. In this way, your pitch has an unfinished touch. ‘Sometimes I joke that pitches go wrong at the beginning, in the middle and at the end. Then people say; ‘You mean they go wrong everywhere!’. But it is just really like the very beginning (the first 20 sec), the very end (last 20 sec) and just over-explanation in the middle’. David’s solution to this problem is to simply have a plan. A written, memorized plan.
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Talking about formulas
‘I recommend people to work with a formula’. Any formula. Because it is not very important what you say in the end, but it is about how you say it. A formula that David uses a lot himself is this one: ‘This is what you heard, this is what I want you to do.
So if it was David who would end his pitch, he would say: ‘I was talking about pitching. What you have seen is all about (1) script, (2) design and (3) delivery (power of three). What I would love you to do is visit my website and download the pitch canvas’. And then he would conclude his pitch with an end that always works: ’I am David Beckett, I am a pitch coach and I am here to ensure your ideas. Thank you’. Other ways to end are using a concluding slogan or challenge. ‘We are doing blahblah. Are you ready to come with us?’
Last 20 seconds: Write them down
Whatever formula you use, it is very important to realize that the last 20 seconds of your pitch will be super important. People remember this last part of your pitch and shape their feelings and ideas about you accordingly. You want to come across professional, energetic and powerful. In order to do that, you have to (we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again) prepare your pitch! It is important to not only think about the last 20 seconds beforehand, but also to write down every word you’ll be saying at this end bit of your pitch. And memorize them. Spice it up with your passion & energy and voilà; you can end with a bang.
The professional ‘Thank you’
The ‘Thank you’ is also very important. Actually it is nothing more than a trigger that tells the audience that you are finished and that they can clap. ‘In my workshops I always ask: what are your two final words at the end of your pitch? Half of the time I get the answer ‘Thank you, because you should thank your audience for their attention’. In Davids opinion this attitude won’t help you further. ‘You are not arrogant if you know that you have something to offer. You shouldn’t be like; thank you for listening to my crappy story.
On the contrary, you should have the confidence to think and act like; ‘I have something good for you’. It is all about seeing yourself as a professional. So think like it. And more important, act like it’.
Doing it right
This week’s example of someone who is doing it right is the pitch of Ray Gibson, who presented his Startup StartMonday at the StartupBootcamp. In his last 20 seconds he sums up what he just told, he says some loving words about his team and end with his slogan ‘Hire better people, faster’