This week the focus of the course content is pitching. Pitching is something that makes me feel quite anxious. I am confident at presenting ideas in one to one or small group settings. I find the idea of pitching to a larger audience or individuals I do not know quite intimidating.
I am relieved to read that public speaking is a skill that can be developed and improved (Ericsson, 2014). In my opinion, you should also push yourself to do things that make you feel uncomfortable, so I have volunteered to deliver the pitch. My colleagues Matt and Gordon will also be presenting, which makes it less daunting. Stewart et al.; asserts that students with a growth mindset who believe they can improve their public speaking have lower anxiety and higher confidence (Stewart et al., 2019). So I am determined to grasp this opportunity and learn from the feedback I receive.
Plan and coordinate a pitch:
As a Team, we are required to create a video pitch to show our progress and communicate our concept.
I plan to work with the team to devise the pitch by using a blend of Quest and EPIC frameworks. Matt and I have agreed to work on the pitch deck and script. We have also scheduled a midweek meeting run through the progress of the pitch. The slides have been created by Matt in Google Slides so that the whole team can view and contribute.
Enrol your audience: I propose that we enrol our audience by asking them to close their eyes and recall the best live music event they have ever attended. This action will introduce the audience to our concept, and hopefully, they will remember positive emotions that may make them feel more optimistic about the pitch.
Promise the audience will find out about a new way to remix and relive live music events. The concept will be something new and unique, and intriguing.
Investment: we will ask the audience to put down their phones for 10 minutes.
Certainty: the pitch will instil confidence by using a mix of qualitative and quantitative primary and secondary research.
Questions –the pitch will include questions to strengthen our case, for example, “why us”, why now”
Use their bodies in the enrol step when we ask the audience to close their eyes.
Engage emotions: I am planning to use the backdrop of Covid to help the audience engage their feelings as it has been a challenging collective experience. Juxtapose with the audience being asked to reminisce about gigs and evets.
Silence or suspense – Matt came up with the idea of using music to help build tension which I think will work well and support the story of our application.
Telling stories – Our story will be told through low fidelity wire-frames, user journey and research.
One of the things that struck me whilst reading and watching the video lectures on pitching and public speaking was an underlying sense of anxiety. I found a study on Anxiety Level and Students of Public Speaking: Causes and Remedies. Spijick researched fear of public speak and found 4 out of 10 people listed it as one of their top 3 fears. Psychologies would consider fear to be an irrational fear that could easily be overcome. (Spijick, 2011). The study concluded that public speaking is a learnt skill, and rehearsal and practising public speaking can improve an individuals performance and help them overcome anxiety. (Raja, 2017)
Akin and Kunzman created a programme that focused on a behavioural format by repeatedly exposing students to public speaking situations, which resulted in desensitising the students over time. (Akin and Kunzman. 1974).
Riegel suggests that presenters should have strategies to enable them to feel confident on stage. The techniques include engaging the audience to make the presentation a dialogue instead of a monologue. (Riegel, 2013).
Stewart, C.O., McConnell III, J.R., Stallings, L.A. and Roscoe, R.D., 2019. Growth mindset: Associations with apprehension, self-perceived competence, and beliefs about public speaking. Basic Communication Course Annual, 31(1), p.6.
Raja, F., 2017. Anxiety Level in Students of Public Speaking: Causes and Remedies. Journal of education and educational development, 4(1), pp.94-110.
McCain, L. and Press, L., 2012. Public speaking fear? 21 secrets to succeed in front of any crowd.