Remote Pitching & Tips To Improve Them
Recently I have sat in a number of remote pitches for a few clients and advising brands. It’s been tricky for remote pitchers, especially with tech issues.
Something I have noticed is how badly the remote video conferencing tools are for two or more pitching and hosting meetings with a Q&A element.
I have been on Zoom, Google Meets, Microsoft Teams, Slack and on FaceTime for pitches, these all have been pretty bad for those who are pitching and somewhat irritating for the client.
It surprises me that companies and software companies haven’t attempted to address this or created a hack for dual person pitching.
As someone who has been on every side of the pitching table and conditioned with the best possible slides with the best presentation wins, it must be particularly frustrating for the agency or potential partner pitching and not having a signal for “next slide” or having to say it.
So here are a quick tip or two for pitching via video conference tool.
- Have a signal between teams for next slide, simple easy, and something that doesn’t break the flow
- Record the pitch and review, keep them as a bank and revisit to evaluate how you got on (ask clients permission just in case)
- Exec summaries work for pitches too – say more with less upfront
- Reduce down creds and deck filler – explain the deck flow ahead of time or at the beginning of the deck, the first few minutes are essential
- Don’t be concerned if you send ahead of time and pick out core slides as time always gets away
- Manage time around Q&A, set out expectations at the beginning of how you will handle questions
- Make sure the most up to date slides or URL is being used for the deck – your surprise is the potential client’s surprise
- Mac Users: Use the do not disturb feature on the mac so no notifications that flash up
- Turn off anything that pings
- Turn off desktop chat apps (WhatsApp especially)
- Have a tablet or phablet, use these as second screens if you are pitching remotely, might help you with time checks and keeping up with notes or feedback
- Please use headphones…ideally with a mic – a cheap default apple pair will help block out noises and holds the mic at the right position to talk
- Go on mute as default
- If more than one person is pitching have a test run or run through when knowing your queue or having an owner of the section
- If you have a multi-screen set up be wary of looking away from the camera
- Have gallery view/mode switched on, see all the attendees, this will really help see the reactions and take note of the visual cues in pitch
- It is ok to explain you have written notes or presentation notes
- Send and share notes with actions, like a good meeting don’t forget the simple things
- Reduce video, gifs and renders, these all look and sound pretty bad over video conferencing tools and software
- If you are old school and print out your slides, suggest the slides you are discussing
- With Q&A no one expects instant answers, take note or ask for the questions and suggest you will come back with the answers. Stumbling with a bad internet connection or struggling on screen can appear worse than it is
Good luck to anyone who is pitching remotely, it’s an odd experience seeing how all tech platforms aren’t cut out for this yet but getting the basics and following these tips might just help you out.