How To Pitch In Front Of A Jury?
I’ve entered in many pitching competitions and I have seen the same thing happening again and again. You are really nervous to pitch in front of a jury, and then you walk in.
They are talking to each other and looking at their phone. You already were quite nervous, but it just gets worse and worse.
The trick is to blow the jury away with your first sentences.
During the opening of your pitch you should only have one goal in mind: Get the attention of your listener. Research shows that the first 7 seconds of a pitch will determine whether somebody will pay attention to the rest of it. There are a three ways to get the attention of your listener, right from the start.
- A personal story
When you start your pitch with a short personal story, you build a relationship with your listener in under a minute. A personal story helps the listener to get to know you better. At the same time the listener feels sympathy for you because you opened up and put yourself in a vulnerable position.
- A question for the listener
This one works especially well with large audiences as it forces everybody to listen and put their phones away. A question stimulates your audience to actively participate in your pitch.
Very important: this question should always be a yes or no question, as you don’t want to start a long conversation with your audience during your pitch
- A bold statement
This is my personal favourite. Starting off your pitch with a bold statement usually has a big impact on the listener. A good bold statement has a small shocking effect to the listener, which will ‘wake him up’ and have him listen to you for the rest of your pitch.
You can read further about how to start your pitch here.