On Thursday, June 8th, we had our second lunch and learn session with Beth Goldstein on how to make a great first impression during an elevator pitch. As one of our Summer Venture Program 2017 advisors, Beth has expertise in marketing and sales, with a focus on customer discovery and market research. Aside from being an adjunct professor at Babson College, Beth is also an author, consultant, and coach; she has spent more than 25 years helping entrepreneurs in various industries to launch and grow their start-ups.
Beth started the session by asking the group to guess the percentage of what we discussed would still be remembered in a day. The answer was shockingly low. The forgetting curve tells us that we will lose 70% of the memory in a day. However, we can expand or brain capacity by having more participation in the session, writing things down, and asking a lot of questions. Basically the more involved you are in a session, the more information you will remember.
Beth talked about how to make a great impression while delivering pitches. When people say they want to get better at selling, they are indicating that they want more of the audience to pay attention and like the message that they have delivered. The factors that matter include a pitcher’s body language, tone of voice, stand pose, and facial expressions.
Good and affectionate body language means that you have comfortable and appropriate hand gestures. Tone of voice should be closely related to what topic you are presenting and should be appealing enough to make the audiences be empathetic. The presenter’s standing position matters because we do not want our hands going to wild during a presentation, but we also do not want us to stand still for the whole presentation. One tip here is to watch yourself in a video recording; by making this observation, it can provide perspective on how we are perceived so that we can make improvements. Similar to the tone of voice, facial expression is crucial because it is also a great tool to catch the audience’s attention. Beth was constantly emphasizing that most people have very short attention spans – about 8 seconds. Thus, as a good presenter, we have to constantly use our energy, enthusiasm, and creativity to catch audience’s attention in order to make our pitch memorable.
We hope these tips are useful for people who are interested in becoming better presenters. Stay tuned for more lunch and learn takeaways!
Want to know more about SVP’s progress and activities? Visit Summer Venture Program website and follow us on Twitter and Instagram with #babsonsvp! Also save the date for Venture Showcase on Thursday July 27th. More details to come!