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During the pitching process, 78% of clients say they’re most influenced by the business that proves how knowledgeable it is, however, research suggests that many businesses aren’t managing to get this across in their pitch and there’s currently a gap in what is being delivered versus what is wanted.

According to Park Communications, for businesses lucky enough to make it to pitching stage, it’s crucial to be credible, attention-worthy and trustworthy.

Successfully Leverage a Pitch Opportunity

A report by marketing and sales skills training company Corporate Visions reveals that while many businesses understand the importance of a pitch, many don’t leverage the golden opportunity as well as they could.

  • 42% of businesses believe that starting a pitch by introducing an ‘unconsidered need’ is the best way to go but surprisingly, less than 14% actually pitch this way
    • That means 86% of businesses create pitches that are different to what the largest percentage believe are most effective

Give Clients What They Want

When it comes to agencies and brands the disconnect is similar, a survey on pitches by Kiwi Gray reveals what agencies think brands want versus what they actually want.

  • 96% of agencies believe a good presentation influences a brands decisionFor brands, it’s not that simple:
    • 29% of brands are looking for content
    • 29% want to see an understanding of the questions posed in the brief
    • 25% want to see the commercial numbers
    • 11% care about the delivery of the presentation

What the Experts Say:

John Williams Head of Marketing at Instant Group: “There has been one consistent element to every winning pitch that I have taken part in – present a big idea and bring it alive. It sounds simple but it always works. Experience, process, even fees are all part of the mix, but a successful pitch always hinges on that one concept, the key moment of creativity that shows a client that you get it. You understand their challenge. And you can solve it. This is obviously re-enforced by the medium of presentation. Anything you can do to really bring that idea to life, from web design to print, will highlight your winning moment of strategic clarity. I have moved from agency to client side and during that transition from pitcher to recipient, I can safely say that the one thing the client always talks about is that flash of creativity that renders every other facet of the pitch redundant.”

Ginny Bown from Amplify, a UK-based pitch and presentation coaching company says: “When it comes to pitching, it is all about defining, rather than defending, what you do. A zebra doesn’t need to convince somebody that he isn’t a horse, we can see from his stripes that he is what he says he is. Likewise, when you pitch, it is all about explaining adequately who you are, what you do and most importantly, why someone should care.”

Louis Venter, CEO of award-winning UK digital agency MediaVision: “I feel authenticity is the best quality in a pitch. Speak openly and honestly about what you feel the opportunities are and how to unlock them, rather than come across as too rehearsed. Invite them to interrupt whenever they want to ask questions. This proves you know your subject and are willing to discuss whatever comes up rather than having to stick to a script”.

Ginny Bown also says: “One of the most powerful tools you can use when you are pitching is story-telling; stories help you do everything you need to do as a communicator. A recent study from Stanford University Press concluded that ‘stories are 22 times more powerful than a fact’ because it allows you to draw the audience into your world. Yes, you need both facts and stories, but you cannot neglect that really at our core we are all human and want to be connected with; stories allow you to do exactly that.”

9 Ingredients for a Successful Pitch:

The space between what clients want to see and what businesses deliver can sometimes be vast, and to pull off a successful pitch it’s crucial to close that gap. Here’s how:

  1. Understand the Needs of Your Audience

Keep audience attention by doing your research. Start the pitch with a quick summary of their needs then use the meeting to explain how you plan to meet them.

  1. Go Above and Beyond to Add Value

Can you offer new services or technologies as they come to the market? Does your company culture differentiate you from the competition? Focus on what you can deliver that goes above and beyond the brief.

  1. Differentiate Yourself with Credible Evidence

Clients believe that 53% of those pitching over-promise most of the time. Your audience needs to know what you say during your pitch is credible, so be prepared to talk case studies, results, testimonials or award wins.

  1. Build a Personal Relationship

Remember that people buy from people. So, while it’s important to engage with your audience in an authoritative and knowledgeable way, it’s even more important to be natural, relaxed and warm.

  1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Some of the greatest pitches of all time have been a last-minute rush, but that doesn’t mean the speakers weren’t prepared. If you don’t have the answer for something, ‘I’ll find out’ is better than ‘I’m not sure’.

  1. Polish Your Presentation Skills

People only remember 10% of what they hear and 20% of what they read, but about 80% of what they see and do. Keep this in mind while presenting. Talk and show visuals to keep your audience engaged.

  1. Make a Killer Pitch Deck

For printed decks, have your pages professionally printed on high quality, weighty paper, and bound to keep them neat. For digital decks, ensure your files work across all operating systems, and that images, videos, and text render properly on-screen.

  1. Remember the Power of Storytelling

Research suggests that 79% of people want brands to tell a story, and your audience is no different. Use your pitch deck to convey facts but don’t be afraid to offer up a story or a glimpse into your company by revealing some of the history, challenges, and victories you’ve faced.

  1. Assemble a Team

A survey revealed 42% of agencies appoint a Pitch Leader to own the entire process, while 17% always appoint a Pitch Administrator. Crush a difficult pitch by assigning a pitch team to the task – build on each other’s strengths and cover for each other in areas you may not be as strong in.

For smaller pitches, it is good to be accompanied by at least one other member of the team. This will help convey to the audience that there is depth to the pitch and that it does not stop with the person delivering the message.

One of the last and most important things to remember is that if you don’t feel like you can make a genuine difference to a company through your work, insights, or products, why pitch in the first place?



Honda’s part self-driving Legend a big step for autonomous tech



Honda's part self-driving Legend a big step for autonomous tech 1

TOKYO (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co Ltd on Thursday unveiled a partially self-driving Legend sedan in Japan, becoming the world’s first carmaker to sell a vehicle equipped with new, certified level 3 automation technology.

The launch gives Japan’s No.2 automaker bragging rights for being the first to market, but lease sales of the level 3 flagship Legend would be limited to a batch of 100 in Japan, at a retail price of 11 million yen ($102,000).

Still, the new automation technology is a big step towards eliminating human error-induced accidents, chief engineer Yoichi Sugimoto told reporters.

The Legend’s “Traffic Jam Pilot” system can control acceleration, braking and steering under certain conditions.

Once the system is activated, a driver can also watch movies or use the navigation on the screen, helping to mitigate fatigue and stress when driving in a traffic jam, Honda said in a statement.

It can alert the driver to respond when handing over the control, such as vibration on the driver’s seatbelt, the carmaker said. And if the driver continues to be unresponsive, the system will assist with an emergency stop by decelerating and stopping the vehicle while alerting surrounding cars with hazard lights and the horn, it added.

The announcement comes after the Japanese government awarded a safety certification to Honda’s “Traffic Jam Pilot” in November.

Global automakers and tech companies, including Google parent Alphabet Inc’s Waymo and Tesla Inc, have been investing heavily in autonomous driving.

Yet even as the technology advances, regulations on autonomous driving differ from country to country. Audi unveiled an A8 sedan with level 3 technology in 2017 but regulatory hurdles have prevented it from being widely introduced.

Honda has no plans to increase production or sales of a level 3-equipped Legend for now, its operating officer said on Thursday.

($1 = 107.3400 yen)

(Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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Airbus to avoid redundancies in Germany, France, Britain



Airbus to avoid redundancies in Germany, France, Britain 2

BERLIN (Reuters) – Airbus will make no forced redundancies in France, Germany and Britain, the European planemaker said on Thursday, as it reached an agreement with a German trade union to protect jobs until the end of 2023.

A spokesman for Airbus, which has been hit hard by slumping demand for aircraft in the coronavirus crisis, said other measures – such as voluntary redundancy programmes, early retirement or internal transfers – had been agreed instead.

Negotiations started later in Spain, the spokesman said.

Airbus has been struggling to reach targets to cut staff as part of a restructuring plan affecting up to 15,000 jobs, especially at its headquarters in France and in German plants, sources had earlier told Reuters.

The IG Metall union and works council representing Airbus workers in Germany said they had agreed with the aircraft manufacturer on an overall package to safeguard employment and sites in the country until the end of 2023.

About 1,300 employees at Airbus Germany and 1,000 at Premium Aerotec, a subsidiary that makes large plane components, took voluntary redundancy between November and February, Holger Junge, head of the group works council, told a news conference.

“Production figures have stabilised,” Junge said. “But we have not overcome the crisis.”

Airbus agreed to avoid further job cuts through short-time work and reducing hours by up to 20% from 2022, he said. Airbus employs about 55,000 people in Germany.

In January, Airbus stuck to ambitions for a partial recovery in jet production later this year, although there is speculation that it may have to delay that due to extended coronavirus lockdowns in Europe. [nL1N2JJ1DU]

(Reporting by Christina Amann and Alexander Huebner, writing by Emma Thomasson, editing by Thomas Escritt)

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Shell changes senior UK leadership in global overhaul



Shell changes senior UK leadership in global overhaul 3

By Ron Bousso

LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell is changing the senior leadership of its operations in Britain as part of a global overhaul to cut costs and shift away from oil and gas to renewables and power.

Under the changes, which have been announced internally, country chair Sinead Lynch will become Shell’s global head of low-carbon fuels, a company spokeswoman said.

Lynch, who joined the Anglo-Dutch company in 2016 following its acquisition of BG Group, will be replaced by David Bunch who currently runs Shell’s retail business across Europe and South Africa. Bunch joined Shell in 1997.

The changes will take effect in August when Shell rolls out project Reshape, its biggest restructuring in decades as part of plans to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by mid-century and build a large low-carbon and power business.

Under the overhaul, Shell will cut 9,000 jobs, or more than 10% of its workforce.

As part of the management changes, Steve Phimister, head of Shell’s oil and gas operation in the North Sea since 2017, will be replaced by Simon Roddy, currently deputy managing director at Shell’s Nigerian onshore oil and gas joint venture SPDC.

Phimister’s new role in the company has yet to be announced.

Shell has gradually reduced its oil and gas operations and refining business in recent years but Britain remains an important market. The North Sea will remain one of nine main oil and gas hubs, the company said last year.

Shell also has a large retail network in the country and plans to significantly boost its electric vehicle charging point network. In January it agreed to acquire Ubitricity, the largest public EV charging network in Britain with over 2,700 points.

Shell’s European rivals including BP and Total have also set out ambitious long-term plans to slash greenhouse gas emissions and build large renewable energy businesses.

(Reporting by Ron Bousso; Editing by David Clarke)

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