Bad pitches happen to good speakers.
Everyone has an ‘off’ day and it’s entirely possible that after practice and extensive preparations, you had a terrible pitch. Bad pitches happen to good speakers. Occasionally, you did everything you could have done to create an amazing presentation, but things just weren’t meant to be. The key is to recovery is to review the aspects of the pitch that you can control. Only then, can you reduce the chances of duplicating a poor presentation.
Stop beating yourself up
Forgive and forget. Forgive yourself for the mistakes that were made – it’s easier said than done, but it’s something that you need to do. No one is perfect and you are no exception to that rule. Use this time to reflect on where you need to improve and create a game plan to do so.
Perform a Presentation Autopsy
It’s time for some serious honesty. Be your own worst critic and figure out what went wrong. Ask yourself the following questions and be brutally honest. It’s time to get better.
- Did I really understand my audience and adjust my presentation to their wants and needs?
- Did I meet my audience’s level of expectations regarding my presentation?
- Was I clear on my facts, timeline, projection, and goals?
- Did I present a problem and solution?
- Did I know my facts?
- Did I really practice my presentation enough?
- Was my closing statement impactful?
- How was my presentation delivery?
- How were my body language and unspoken communication cues?
You must be able to self-evaluate effectively. If you cannot, present you practice pitch to an outsider and have them answer the questions above to provide you with a new perspective.
Start off with mea culpa
One of the best ways to gain and retain business is to admit when you’re wrong or you don’t know the answer. Show some humility and gain some business. Should your prospect be open to a second chance pitch it’s important to briefly apologize for any misstep of the initial pitch. Suggest you can better explain the value of your business and show that you’ve improved. Follow up and improve. If you don’t, you won’t get a third chance.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
Michael Phelps swims a minimum of 50 miles a week during peak training. Twice a day at five to six hours, six days a week. He’s considered the best and he got there by extensively training.
Now is the time to review and refine your pitch. Buy your friend a beer and give them the presentation. Haven’t talked to your Grandmother in a while? Great! Call her up and ask if she would like to hear your pitch because you need to practice.
No one has ever regretted practicing too much, but everyone regrets not practicing enough.
Do not Make a repeat performance
Don’t waste your second chance by repeating the same mistakes. Be mindful of the mistakes you made and be sure to address them with new information. Your first presentation ruined your chances of a good first impression, so it is key to work twice as hard to overcome those poor assumptions about you and your business. Show your potential investors that you have learned from your mistakes and that you have made changes for the better.
Evaluate your weaknesses, learn from your mistakes, overcome any self-doubt and you just might surprise yourself with a successful presentation and new investor.