Getting up in front of a crowd can be unnerving. Add a timer, mic, stage and 200 people and the anxiety might have you asking, “what happens if I forget everything I want to say?”

Public speaking does not come naturally to most people, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be good at it. At the Canberra Innovation Network, we see many budding entrepreneurs, startups and researchers who have these fears and tackle them head first, building confidence along the way.

We asked the team to give us their best advice when it comes to pitching in front of a crowd!

  1. Who are you talking too?
    Think about who the audience is and tailor your pitch to them. How you pitch to a room full of entrepreneurs will be different to a room of academics.
  2. Be yourself
    Talk in a way that’s authentic to you. You will feel more comfortable doing this than trying to say things in a way that isn’t natural for you.
  3. Don’t complicate it
    Keep it simple. Don’t try to cram too much information into the pitch. What is the one message you want others to remember after?
  4. Think of an easy call to action
    How will people remember what to do after you have pitched? Would you like them to talk to you straight afterwards, book a meeting or come along to an event?
  5. Time your trial
    Keeping to time keeps everyone happy. Be conscious of how long you are speaking for and plan what you are going to say.
  6. Try it out loud on someone else
    Perhaps you are missing a key piece of information? Do a test run with someone. Ask them to time your pitch and provide feedback on content and how you present on stage.
  7. Practice, practice, practice
    This tip speaks for itself, although is critical when wanting to execute a great pitch. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll be.
  8. Imagine the worst-case scenario
    Kind of like the Boggart scene in Harry Potter, think of a bad thing to happen whilst up on stage and flip it into something hyper ridiculous. A giggle will do you good before stepping up there.
  9. Remind yourself: Everyone wants to see you do well
    Often we think we are speaking to a crowd that will pick out our flaws and judge us harshly, but most of the time we are talking to a room full of empathetic peers that know the feeling all too well.

Want to learn more about how to pitch? Come and join our Idea to Impact workshops.

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