A normal pitch doesn’t last longer than 3 minutes. Because you are limited on time, you can’t afford to go into too much interaction with your audience. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t interact or engage with your audience.
In a normal situation interaction simply means talking. In a pitch however, this is slightly different. Instead of having your audience talk (and create a lot of chaos) you want your audience to participate in another way. Here are a few examples you can use to create interaction with your audience.
#1 Ask a yes/no question
This is the most simple solution to create engagement with your audience. I sometimes like to start my pitch by asking a simple question like this: ‘ raise your hand if you’ve ever been afraid of public speaking’. Asking this question to your audience accomplishes two things:
- You activate the brains of your audience, they have to think about your question
- You become more likeable to your audience, since you show interest in their feelings
#2 Make your audience imagine something
‘Imagine. What would it feel like if you would be the president of the United States? How would that feel?’ [Don’t say anything for 5 seconds]. ‘Great, that’s exactly how you’ll feel after this pitch’.
Again, this activates the brain of your audience.
#3 Give your audience an exercise
‘Smiling makes you happy. I invite you to listen to the rest of my pitch and try to smile as much as possible’.
By giving your audience an exercise you activate your audience in a fun way. Although this one creates a lot of laugh (and works pretty good), you run the risk of creating too much chaos. Research your audience up front and decide how they will respond to your exercise.
Whenever you’re pitching to big audiences there is no time for a two-sided conversation. Therefore, you have to use tricks like these to activate and engage with your audience.
Want to know more about the perfect pitch? Make sure to check out the Ultimate Pitch Guide.