Crafting and Presenting The Perfect Pitch
with Catherine Allison, Trainer and Director of Master The Art - S4 E6

After recently bringing Catherine in to train our team at Street Agency we were keen to get her on to the podcast to share her wealth of experience on the show and to have a deep-dive conversation on presentation and pitching. This episode isn’t just about how to polish your pitch deck to convert more sales; this is a mini-masterclass in how agencies need to communicate with more confidence, influence and authority in pitches, presentations and everyday agency life.

Recent research found that 67% of pitches are lost because of softer factors over and above harder factors. So why is it that agency teams often spend days, if not weeks, slaving over the content of a presentation but give so little time to improving the softer skills that can give them that much-needed edge over the competition, not just in pitches, but at every stage of the business development process?

This is definitely an episode that you’ll want to listen to with a pen and paper as you are going to want to take notes for this! Catherine has over 24 years of integrated agency experience working in client services and business development roles so this is an experienced expert at the highest level of her field.

In this episode you will hear:

  • Tactics of pitching with authority
  • How to present yourself and your offering better over (the now dreaded) Zoom pitches
  • What elements of body language are consciously and subconsciously saying
  • Key things to remember whilst pitching

Links & References

Katie Street: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katiestreet/

Catherine Allison: https://www.linkedin.com/in/catherinea/

Master The Art: https://mastertheart.co.uk/

Word on the Street is sponsored by Tanba, The Agency New Business Academy, is a brand-new initiative aimed at equipping agencies of all sizes with the knowledge, content, partnerships and opportunities needed to accelerate agency growth by optimising their new business ‘engine’. Tanba is an on-demand and affordable solution for agencies looking to upskill their team via training courses, content and insights delivered by our panel of industry experts, leaders, and partners.   

The academy is all about empowering agency teams to get noticed, attract opportunities, increase conversion rates, and reduce the costs associated with the sales process. Visit https://tanba.io/ to find out more and start empowering your agency. 

“There are a lot of people for whom the thought of going back to presenting face to face is utterly terrifying.” – Catherine Allison [10:01]

“A lot of this comes from you having the confidence within” – Katie Street [10:50]

“It’s about having the confidence to be who YOU are” – Catherine Allison [11:18]

“Rather than say oh I’m really nervous, you should say; I’m really excited about this” – Catherine Allison [13:12]

“We’ve all had those moments I’m sure where we’ve been thrown slides in the back of a cab and told to present slide 10 – Catherine Allison [15:57]

“First of all you need to structure your presentation” – Catherine Allison [17:10]

“An audience remembers the peak of a presentation and the end” – Catherine Allison [19:08]

“Now I’m sure we’ve all seen brilliant ideas fall flat on their face” – Catherine Allison [20:29]

“It’s about making sure that you as a team are working together and demonstrating the culture of your agency” – Catherine Allison [21:24]

“It doesn’t have to just come down to the people who are good at presenting” – Catherine Allison [22:13]

“I think there’s this misconception that gravitas is just for old men in suits” – Catherine Allison [24:42]

“So you have to work even harder to get your thinking absolutely crystal clear” – Catherine Allison [26:40]

“I have always shied away from ever having any notes” – Katie Street [27:50]

“I would challenge everyone to step away from the script” – Catherine Allison [28:11]

“On this virtual set up that we’ve found ourselves in, so many people have defaulted back to reading scripts” – Catherine Allison [28:35]

“What we often do when we’re distilling a script down, is we put key points or key words, but we haven’t thought about how the first point links to the second point.” – Catherine Allison [29:36]

“Text on a slide, the simpler the better, the less the better” – Catherine Allison [32:02]

“What you’re aiming for is warm, positive, open body language” – Catherine Allison [33:51]

“What they discovered is that there are certain body language positions that resulted in more successful outcomes to those pitches” – Catherine Allison [35:44] 

“Particularly on the virtual stage, if you’re sitting back and slouching in your chair,it makes you appear so uninterested” – Catherine Allison [40:47]

“I think it’s a trait that as agency people we fall in to where we feel the need to fill a silence” – Catherine Allison [41:28]

“We think we’ve got to be in this broadcast mode, tell them everything!” – Catherine Allison [42:37]

“It’s so easy in the virtual world to distract yourself – Katie Street [43:58]

“After 18-20 minutes we reach cognitive load, when we are watching something virtually” – Catherine Allison [44:18]

“I have a slightly different viewpoint on mirroring…” – Catherine Allison [45:17]

“I think it’s more about bringing awareness to yourself whilst you’re in the room” – Katie Street[46:58]

“You bring the energy into a room, you can either bring it down or bring it up” – Catherine Allison [48:37]

“Take the focus off yourself and put the focus firmly on your audience” – Catherine Allison [51:19]

“It’s simply a lot of the time about taking a moment and breathing” – Catherine Allison [52:36]

“There are 3 aspects of speech that really matter when it comes to influencing decision making” – Catherine Allison [53:53]

“If there’s only 1 thing you take away from this, please, please let it be…” – Catherine Allison [56:03]

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