Executive Coaching for Entrepreneurs
Recently, I coached some entrepreneurs in the National College of Ireland (NCI) who were pitching their Brexit border solution to the Seanad (Irish Upper House of Parliament).
Prior to my session, they had several dry runs with a selection of experts giving them advice, lots of which was conflicting. As a result, they were unclear and lacked confidence in their pitch and business idea.
At the end of our session, we created a presentation, the requirement being to bring three individuals together while incorporating their three ideas into a unified pitch.
Pitches that excite
On completing the session, they were happy with the pitch we created, which excited themselves and explained their solution to the audience.
What I was reminded of at the conclusion of the session is that the most valuable aspect of my intervention is to give the presenter self-confidence and belief in what they are proposing.
Pitch with confidence
The pitch will never be perfect or answer all the questions an audience will want to know. What is required is a pitch that shows the confidence and clear thinking of the presenter and the passion they have for the idea.
Whether you’re a sports person or businessperson, you have to believe that you have prepared as well as you can, and be confident that you can perform to the best of your ability. The result is in the lap of the gods.
I often see myself in the role of coach, providing the support and belief to the presenter that they can win.
The other important message I’d like to impart when preparing people for a critical pitch is to realise that the audience may not like your idea but that does not make you a failure.
It’s just one small setback (and valuable experience), so dust yourself down and get back in front of your next prospect, having learned from the experience.
I regularly sit on judging panels where one panelist will think the idea has no merit and another judge will love the idea.
Your job is to keep turning up until you find people who love your idea and are willing to invest in you.