Video conferencing is a reality in the modern world. Sooner or later, you are going to have to be telepresent in a situation when you are trying to convince someone of something. This is pitching.
It doesn’t matter what exactly you’re trying to accomplish – maybe you’re trying to convince a business client to use a product or service that you offer, or maybe you’re interviewing for a job. Fundamentally, you are trying to make someone come to a desired conclusion by looking at you through a screen, and listening to what you have to say.
There are some ground rules for using the video conferencing platform to do this.
It’s important to remember that there actually is another person present there with you. You aren’t there putting on a play (many first-timers make that mistake), you are there to communicate with people in real-time.
Even though you may physically be working from home, it’s important to remove distractions from your environment so that you are just as focused as you would be if you physically traveled to have a meeting with someone.
Just like with a normal presentation, preparation and forward-planning helps give a structure to your pitch. Have an idea of what topics you want to touch on, and have thought out way to deliver your points.
Rehearsal is key, more so than in a face to face meeting. Remote video can be a technical challenge for many. But there is a basic checklist you want to go through before entering an online meeting.
Virtual meetings are in real-time. While your material should be fairly rehearsed, you can count on someone asking you a question that you hadn’t thought out. This shouldn’t throw a monkey-wrench in your pitch.
Some people only know how to go through a script. In remote video conferences, if you’re monologuing off a script then it can be hard to even know when someone wants to interject a question or a comment.
It’s important to leave pauses and regularly expect feedback, acknowledgment, and requests for clarification. Being able to adapt your pitch and re-explain your material is key to any pitch, but in video conferencing it becomes even more important to pay close attention to others, and give them room to ask questions.
The perfect pitch is ultimately a collaborative effort, and focusing on including everybody in the active conversation that is your pitch is of utmost importance when making a virtual pitch.