Graphic recording helps your business pitch stand out from the crowd.
The Art Of The Pitch
Your palms are sweaty. Your heart is racing. You’re trying your best to remember your opening line.
With symptoms like those, you’re either asking out your middle school crush, trying open mic stand-up for the first time… or pitching your business to a potential new client.
Even for the most experienced business leader, planning and executing a pitch can bring about a lot of anxiety. Winning new business demands a thorough understanding of your potential clients’ workplace culture, values, and strengths and challenges. It requires you to create a well-developed and tailored solution. And let’s face it, sometimes it takes a little magic, too: matching personalities, memorable banter, something that makes them think, “this is who I want to work with.”
But it’s not impossible. In our 10 years of live scribing for businesses, we’ve supported many pitches that have ended in a firm handshake and a signed contract. At ImageThink, we’re passionate about finding new ways to make our clients look their best, using live visuals to emphasize their unique selling points and facilitate meaningful dialogue with everyone around the table.
Read on for the best ways to use graphic recording to make a mark, and win your pitch.
Use Graphic Recording To Get Curious About Your Client
With a date locked in for your big pitch, you might be tempted to jump right into planning your presentation. Fight that urge! The first step of any successful pitch is getting genuinely curious about your potential client, from their company culture, to their brand history, to the exact folks who will be in the room with you.
Invite your team to conduct some basic research (LinkedIn and google can work wonders!) into who your client is, and what parts of your own value proposition they might respond to best. Then host an empathy mapping session, supported by a graphic facilitator who can help lead your team through a discussion of their findings.
As much as hard data surrounding your client is important, anecdotal information is just as key if you’re going to connect with them in a holistic and resonant way. Consider the following:
- Where are they located, and how does that play into their corporate identity?
- What brand story can you gather from personal or online interactions?
- Are they buttoned-up and by-the-book, or agile and quick-pivoting?
The resulting empathy map board will be indispensable, and act as the backbone to any decisions you make around what and how to present.
Keep Your Client Engaged With Live Visuals
We’re going to let you in on a secret: as humans, we’re a distractible bunch.
Part of your job during a pitch is keeping your potential client engaged and attentive, so that your pearls of wisdom don’t go unnoticed.
Unlike canned PowerPoints, graphic recording adds an engaging element of spontaneity to your pitch. Graphic recording visuals, text, and motion to keep folks engaged on a variety of levels. Finally, it offers an opportunity to emphasize not only the words you plan on saying, but the unplanned conversation they spark with your client.
Experienced graphic recorders will not only act as seamless members of your team; they’ll make sure your pitch stands out in the mind of your client.
Your business pitch should feel like a story–live graphics can help bring it to life.
Choreography And Storytelling: Not Just For Broadway
Pitches move incredibly quickly. Even with an hour booked on the calendar, you might find that by the time everyone is settled in, and the (inevitable) AV issues are solved, you are left with only 45 minutes of active time. For that reason, it’s essential that you get the choreography and timing of your presentation down pat.
Make sure each member of your pitch team is rehearsed and prepared with engaging anecdotes that support their claims. Couching data in storytelling will both help your team remember key points without the aid of notecards, and keep your audience engaged as well. If there will be more than one of you presenting, practice transition statements that will create a narrative flow from one segment of your session to the next.
Finally, let your graphic recorder know the timing of your pitch, and key words or services to listen for. An experienced graphic recorder will have no trouble listening to and synthesizing your words in real time, but giving them some background on industry jargon can be helpful.
Ask Good Questions And Stoke Conversation With Live Scribing
The most successful pitches have an iron-clad script to start… but might actually veer in unexpected directions.
That’s because asking meaningful and informed questions of your potential client is an excellent way to show that you’ve done your research and that you are truly invested in them and their needs. Well placed questions can open valuable dialogue, establishing rapport and relationship before your meeting is even over.
Use your live graphic recording as a spring board for questions and conversations by referring back to the reservoir of ideas captured within it. You’ll find that seeing all of the key talking points visualized side by side will open up new perspectives and might lead the dialogue in unexpected and exciting directions.
Create Custom Leave-Behind Infographics
By the time your client is congratulating you on a pitch well done, your live scribe will have completed a beautiful infographic summarizing all the reasons that your team is their best choice. The finished graphic recording is itself a perfect leave behind.
By why stop there? Consider working with a graphic recording firm ahead of time to create additional leave behind gifts, from customized comics describing your unique strategy for collaboration, to an infographic road-map outlining the key initiatives you would enact if hired for the job. Visuals like these will set you apart from the crowd while showcasing your creative approach to problem solving.
And they’ll get you that contract, too.
Want to learn more ways that visual thinking can support your business? Check out our services page for information on graphic recording, graphic facilitation, infographics, and whiteboard animations.