Leaning more toward the technical and creative side of their profession, engineers and particularly creative technologists sometimes lose sight of the importance of developing their communication and speech skills, using their body language to their advantage, and successfully persuading an audience to produce maximum impact while presenting and pitching their and creations.
Engineers who specialized in creative technology and created their own product or idea and want to pitch it need to take every opportunity to practice, and focus on all aspects of the pitch.
Adopting the “Entrepreneurial” Model
While preparing a pitch, the first thing that could help get into the right mindset is remembering that people who have mastered pitching and selling swear by the best approach that sells is one that connects with others in two ways:
- Warmth and emotions
- Stories and relatability
Remember that every presentation, pitch, and key conversation should convey a story about your idea or yourself.
In addition, it’s been a big misconception, especially in the corporate world, that logic and reason always win but that’s a myth. Emotions take precedence. According to studies, people make business or other investment decisions using the emotional side of their brain.
TIP: Be sensible and avoid limiting your pitch with just facts, data, and analysis. Yes, provide an argument for your creation using data that will pique your audience’s attention and reasoning that relate to their beliefs and purpose. After all, people require justifications; however, first, think about what your audience wants you to solve and how you might provide that answer.
During your pitch, think: “why would they believe me?” before outlining your speech. Most successful proposals reveal the story of the individuals who make the ideas they’re proposing possible. By “selling” yourself you are fulfilling two functions:
- The first benefit is that it fosters trust. When the prospective customer understands more about you and your background, they are more inclined to believe the facts in your pitch. This is especially critical for a new engineering consulting business. You might not have a strong enough presence in the industry for your clients to perform research on you.
- The second benefit is that it offers variation to your pitch. Anyone can cycle through a series of slides while droning on to their audience. Yes, they are interested in hearing about your ideas. But when you tell people about yourself, you also break things apart. Create a story and convey it in an engaging manner. You’ll pique your audience’s interest, making them more receptive to the cold parts of your presentation.
TIP: Know who your audience is. They’d want to know that you’ve done your homework on them as well. You will alienate your potential investor or recruiter if you simply rush into a pitch without first addressing them. They’ll assume you’re delivering them a canned pitch that you’ve already given to hundreds of their competitors or peers in the industry.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Imagine you’re getting ready, everything is in order, and as you begin to present the pitch, all eyes are on you. Then all of a sudden freeze or begin rambling. This will immediately make you look unprofessional and unprepared. It takes time and effort to have the confidence to speak in front of large groups of people. A cursory read-through of your pitch is insufficient. Constant practice is the only way to improve a decent pitch into a superb one.
TIP: Pitches are stressful, but evidence suggests that your body language can influence your emotions. Make sure you practice and make an effort to reduce the complications to the fundamentals.
Engineers start practicing teamwork and pitches during their engineering school days, not just when they’re thrown into the professional world.
A major that prepares young engineers is the MSc Innovation & Creative Technology The programme not only teaches students how to develop new products or usages based on the latest technology releases and scientific knowledge, but it also targets engineering or design students aiming to bridge the gap between research, innovation, and manufacturing in a transdisciplinary environment that fosters innovative ideas that create an impact.
Students will learn to apply various methods and advanced technologies in order to develop their hard skills, autonomy, and critical abilities in a dynamic and motivational work environment, as well as boost their confidence by presenting and pitching ideas and projects that have great potential in being executed in the real world.
Know yourself, know your idea front and back, stand tall, and get ready for the pitch of a lifetime!