By Amanda Hill
Blog Content Contributor
James Hughes once said, “The art of communication is the language of leadership.” At some point we will all come across the task of having to influence someone. Effectively communicating in a way that will inspire people to believe us will require a great deal of strategy.
Typically, people loose focus when not exposed immediately to the purpose of a pitch. Keep in mind that people are interested in knowing what you can do for them, rather than just what you can do. Carmine Gallo states, “If you can’t tell me what you do in 15 seconds, I’m not buying, I’m not investing, and I’m not interested.” Get to the point of your pitch quickly, and support why your audience should stay interested in your message. Do research on their needs and values so you can tailor your message effectively to them. Brainstorm on what you can offer over your competition. Conveying your competitive advantage is a promising way to capture the attention of your audience.
Conveying your message in a story-like manner will keep your audience interested. The five essential components of any story are: conflict, setting, the me, character and plot. Starting your pitch with conflict will leave your audience wanting to know more and they are more likely to give you their undivided attention. Characters are a way for your audience to connect with your message mentally. Everything from characterizing yourself and conveying your own story, to using the stories of others will allow you to connect with your audience on a deeper level. Instill emotion into your characters and pack your message with feelings such as excitement and fear. Painting a picture in story through setting and theme will get the audience visualizing what you are saying and enabling them to understand your message more clearly. Use these five components as focal points to guide the flow of your message.
A million thoughts run through a person’s mind daily, how do we become one of them? Crafting a catchy phrase will stand out to your audience, while helping them recall an overview of your pitch. Take note of popular catchphrases from brands such as Polaroid or FedEx. Both these brands demonstrate value to the consumer.
Regardless of our field of study or expertise, we all have to pitch ourselves as a brand to either employers or clients. Focus on preparing your catch phrase from the point as a differentiator or the values of your brand. For example, if you are an Art Major, start thinking about your trademark when it comes to the type of art you create. Modern Art artists could use something like “perfecting trial and error,” because modern art is a collection of ideas from various creative people. This can be considered a hard task for most of us, so take note of examples that can relate to your situation. Dig deep throughout this process because you have one chance to stand out.