The Hard Thing About Pitching At A Conference
They’ll lock eyes on your booth. They’ll have lanyards and fists full of swag.
“So,” they’ll say. “Whaddya you guys do?”
This is a learning moment. They’ll learn about your company, you’ll learn about yourself.
It should be an easy task. This is the company you work for every day, maybe the one you helped build. Here you are, sitting at a conference, ready to show the world (or at least a few hundred people) what you do. What you’re made of.
You should nail this. You won’t.
You’ll fumble over words. You won’t think straight. What should be a logical, clear line of thinking will dip and swerve and careen into traffic.
It’s the pressure. You’re on the spot.
The environment doesn’t help. It’s loud, busy. The person you’re pitching could just walk away if they get bored. Or if they don’t understand you. They might be planning their move right now, plotting to mosey over to the next booth and sign up to win a pair of Beats headphones.
Don’t worry. This is a good thing. Learning moment, remember.
It’s the best way to see what you — or others on your team — are made of. You need this pressure to work on your pitch.
Your pitch is an ax that needs sharpening. It does not come out of the box pre-sharpened. You gotta sharpen it. You need a lot of repetition and practice.
It’s not about how you practice. It’s that you practice. Don’t worry about mapping out some plan of attack for getting better at pitches.
Here’s how you get better: realize that you suck. And you’ll suck for a little while. You’ll suck until you don’t. The only thing that happens between the two is a lot of practice.
Later, when you are more advanced at this, you can build a more sharpened and intelligent strategy. For now, you need to just get on the bike. You can worry about shaving milliseconds off your time later on. For now, get on the bike.
Repetition. Try to be better each time. Think about what didn’t work during one pitch and try to not do that the next time. Repetition. That’s all there is to it.