Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

Communicating with Impact

Lunch and Learn with Andy Tollison, Babson Speech Center

How do you most effectively package your pitch?

Andy Tollison, a Babson Speech Center consultant, taught the Summer Venture Program participants just how important it is to consider not only the content of a pitch, but also the way it is presented.

Did you know that about a quarter of what people recall from a presentation is actually inaccurate? So how do we go about combating that? By carefully positioning the most important information of your pitch in beginning and end of your presentation. This is the concept of primacy and recency. In short, people remember what was said at the beginning of the presentation, forget the information in the middle, and then tune back in towards the end. Knowing this, it is crucial to frame your message accordingly.

Andy also emphasized the importance of making your ideas vivid, memorable, and clear. Through a short interactive activity with our entrepreneurs, Andy reminded us that what you say can be interpreted in multiple ways. Be concise and clear in everything you say to ensure that the audience is receiving your message as intended. Furthermore, enhance the vividness of your message through carefully chosen words and taglines. For instance, in completing the sentence “How fast were the cars going when they __________?”, choose words like smashed or collided over words like contacted in order to create a more vivid picture in your audience’s mind.

On another note, using statistics in your presentation is a good way to legitimize your pitch, but an audience is more biased towards personal examples and stories. So find a way to present typically boring statistics in a story type manner and you’re set!

Lunch and Learn with Babson Speech Center

“People don’t always say what they mean, but their body gestures and movements tell the truth.” Andy stressed how your nonverbal cues are just as important, if not more than, those that are verbal. Your facial behavior, dress attire, tone of voice, and even positioning of furniture in a room all communicate a message to your audience. Ultimately, you are apart of the pitch so make sure you aware of the message you are giving off.  A pro tip is to record yourself giving the presentation and then watch it with no audio. Andy explained how this will force you to reflect on the way you present yourself and what it communicates.

This lunch and learn was really useful for our entrepreneurs in determining how to present their business. Contact the Babson Speech Center for help developing your style as a speaker!

Save the date for the Summer Venture Showcase: Thursday July 26. Follow all SVP happenings on Twitter and Instagram with #babsonsvp!