Most CEOs never know how their pitch looks or sounds--until someone videotapes you at a pitching event. And then you watch the footage: OMG!
You’re not alone. When I saw my first video, all I could think when I stared at my hands was that they resembled giant lobster claws, in perpetual motion. Ugh. But I didn’t give up. Instead, I learned, through lots of practice in front of the camera. I went on to write, produce, direct and host Showtime telethons. Just like an athlete uses video to evaluate performance and get better, you can too.
So what kind of business owner makes the best pitch? Simple. The CEO who practices with the right tools. If you’ve been relying on your bathroom mirror, it’s time to expand your repertoire.
Using video is so simple, and it may very well be the single most underutilized CEO practice tool. We all have cameras in our phones and tablets. Maybe you even have a camcorder at home. Pick a tool, and use it.
First, script your key talking points. Then record, review, look, listen, learn and repeat. That’s it. Practice, practice practice delivers a more impactful presentation, period.
Taping yourself probably will feel uncomfortable at first, but you’ll get used to it. Come up with a process for your practice sessions--something like this:
Before you start a practice session, put yourself in an audience member’s seat. What is the five-word headline takeaway you’d like the viewer to walk away with? Then, consider the following, from the perspective of your audience:
The easier you make it for the audience to hear your thoughts and view supporting key messages, the more powerful the performance. That means there’s a higher probability of follow-up investment meetings.
So stop hating yourself on YouTube! Once you appreciate the power of video, you can use it to celebrate your business and your leadership and as a valuable tool for pitching.