Ambitious smart african black female employee speaking at diverse meeting share creative idea opinion at group briefing while jealous envious skeptical male coworkers looking listening to colleague

One of the most botched business ventures is the casting and performance of a pitch team. When everything is riding on the outcome, how your team delivers is critical.

First, cast off the time-worn model of “Enter the room, engage in brief small talk, do introductions, talk about your firm, step through a PowerPoint, ask for the business and exit.” This is the perfect recipe for failure. The only thing worse is to do what the potential client asks— “Come in and tell us a little about yourself.” They don’t mean it!

Instead, assemble a duo or trio around who will best serve the client’s needs. (More than three creates confusion and doesn’t allow each participant enough time.) Divide roles into Big Picture, Detail and SME (Subject Matter Expert.) Share one intention: e.g., “We will prove that our services are critical to their success.” Have whoever knows the client best introduce the team, only in terms of the value each brings to the client.

Then, begin with an informed assumption about the client’s challenges. Invite questions along the way, while keeping the momentum moving forward. Use PowerPoint sparingly—only when visuals are necessary. Drop in differentiators about your company as you proceed, focused on your experience, as well as the value you will bring. Rehearse hand-offs so that no one dominates.

Once you employ these ensemble techniques, you can recast talent as the project demands. Enjoy and win more finals presentations.

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