What role does body language play in your pitch? It’s the #1 role. But what about the idea?!
Think of your pitch in terms of liking or disliking the person pitching, not in terms of liking or disliking the idea you’re pitching. The most important thing you should be aware of is the phrase you’ve heard so many times before…
“They’re investing in YOU. Not just your idea.” That means you need to look like and act like a CEO acts when they pitch.
To do that, you need to be confident. Not only in your idea, but more than that you must be confident in yourself. If you’re not? It shows. You know what it looks like. I know what it looks like. Every person walking around on this planet understands what confident body language looks like.
Combining the body language of confidence with your pitch is key. You do that by knowing what to do and what not to do with your body language. What are those things? Let’s take a look at the three most obvious things first.
#1- Stress / What body language can you correct to keep from showing stress?
What you’ll see most with the new pitch is “Self Pacification“. Those are the things you’ll do to help disperse some of that nervous energy you’ve built up since you found out you’d be pitching soon. You know how great it feels when someone rubs your shoulders, and how that relaxes you? You’ll be doing the same thing to your hands, your arm, your neck, your jaw, and/or your face.
You’ll wring your hands, squeeze your arm, clench and unclench your jaw, rub your index finger and thumb together real hard, sway back and forth, or maybe put your hand on your hip and push in or squeeze. These are all things most everyone will do when stressed as they stand in front of a group.
Obviously you want to do none of these. To keep from it, when you rehearse practice keeping your hands in front of you with the finger tips of your right hand just lightly touching the finger tips of your left hand.
And keep them just above your waist almost even with your belly button. Rest your little fingers on your belly button. Try it right now. And keep space between your fingers. Stand up and do that and you’ll see what a difference it makes and how much better and confident you’ll feel.
That keeps your hands from touching your face, and squeezing your arm. It keeps you from rubbing your index finger against your thumb, and it looks great. Trust me.
#2- Stepping Back At The Wrong Time / Putting space between you and being unsure or dishonest.
Quite often when watching a video of someone being deceptive you’ll see them move their upper body back and away from the person or people they are talking to as they deliver the lie. You’ll also quite often see the person pitching do the same thing as they deliver information they are unsure of. Most of the time that happens as they begin talking about the financials.
Instead of stepping back as you deliver any piece of information you may have even the slightest doubts about, take a half-step forward. Practice that. Rehearse it. You’ll be surprised what a difference something that subtle can make.
#3- Speak Normally / Contract words and use the vernacular you always use. Talk like you talk.
When someone is being deceptive, and they’ve been thinking about the answer they KNOW you’re going to ask them, quite often it will go something like this: Q- “Did you take the money from my office?” A- “No, I did not.”
What’s odd about that? Nobody talks like that. Think about it. If I asked you if you’d like a Diet Coke you wouldn’t answer with “No, I do not.” You’d say “No, I don’t” or “No, thanks anyway.” If you’ve been waiting for me to ask you if you took something that didn’t belong to you, you’ve probably been rehearsing your answer in your head. “When she asks me if I took the money I’ll just say ‘No, I did not’.”
Pay attention to the words you use. If you talk differently than you talked when you met the people you’re pitching to, on a subconscious level, they’re gonna know something isn’t right. They won’t know what isn’t right. They’ll just know their gut is telling them somethings off somewhere.
The next time someone asks “What role does body language play in your pitch?” You’ll have a great answer that you can back up with valid examples.