“Tell me something profound,” my wife asked me.
She had just returned from driving home in a car–for 3 hours!–with an acquaintance who spoke only of shallow things.
“I love you,” I said.
She rolled her eyes.
Not the response I was looking for.
I later asked her, “What was that about?”
She said, “I think I was expecting you to quote something from Shakespeare. I don’t know.”
You might be asking, “What does this have to do with giving a pitch or a speech?”
In the moment when I said, “I love you,” I said the most profound thing I know. Let me give you the context. Around 17 years ago, I risked my life for my wife. As I mentioned, I love her on a profound level.
Now, let’s look at giving a pitch or speech.
Here’s another profound question that rises up: “What would I do if I were not afraid?”
My thoughtful response is: “I would connect.”
Connection is the essence of successfully giving a pitch or speech.
I’m drawing an analogy here: when I risked my life for my wife, I was vulnerable.
To make a real connection in giving a pitch, sometimes, we can use an appropriate touch of vulnerability. Some authors write about “the power of vulnerability.”
What Makes Appropriate Vulnerability?
Be careful to avoid going overboard in using self-deprecating humor.
Also, avoid placing a self-deprecating joke in the beginning of your pitch. Why? Any bit of humor could lose half the audience. So, avoid humor at the head of your pitch.
Still, a bit of appropriate vulnerability can create a real connection. For example, in one of my workshops, I include the dream I had as an 8-year-old boy: to walk on the ocean floor. I got this idea from watching the feature film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
Thirty years later, I discovered I had a real dream-killing problem: Inside an MRI exam machine, for the first time, I felt slammed by claustrophobia!
My fear rose up that the diving helmet would trigger my claustrophobia.
I then used strategy to deal with my claustrophobia. I rehearsed walking on the ocean floor by wearing a hoodie (sweatshirt), pretending that the hood was the diving helmet. I practiced looking forward and ignoring the hood (like I would ignore the helmet).
This worked! Yes! I had a great time walking on the ocean floor at the Grand Cayman Island.
At this point in my workshop, I connect my dream and my using strategy to fulfill that dream with the workshop attendees’ entrepreneurial dreams.
Trying to Look “Perfect” Can Be the Enemy of Connection
Years ago, as a novice speaker, I found that my right leg would shake. In my mind, my focus was “How am I doing?! How am I doing?!” (In effect, I was trying to be a perfect speaker. Trying to be perfect set me up for unnecessary nervousness.)
I learned that it’s powerful to make the shift to “How are YOU doing?”
When you focus on the audience, you can respond to them.
Excellent pitching is about being present (alive and aware) with your audience.
On September 23, 2017, Sofia University has invited me to give my workshop Authentic Marketing [both on-campus and Online]. During that workshop, I’ll have the chance to work with audience members to hone their pitches, video marketing and more.
When you attend my Sept 23, 2017 workshop in Palo Alto, California (or ONLINE) — I can work with you directly. Limited seating (Limited tickets to attend ONLINE)! Get your ticket when you CLICK HERE.
My friend, to perfect your pitch, it really helps to have a coach and a test audience. At my workshop, you’ll have me as your coach plus two colleagues (in a Team of Three) who will serve as your mini-audience. You’ll get a lot done!
Spoken Word Strategist
Authentic Marketing Coach – Executive Coach
Speaker-author of over 40 books
Get the Advantages to take your business to a higher level. Learn Leadership Advantages, Pitch Advantages, and Success Advantages. To Soar with Confidence, you learn and use principles for top level communication to board members, team members and the media.
“Marcoux demonstrates how to “Prepare a Compelling Story that Moves Emotions.” He mentions techniques that he teaches clients for developing compelling Ted Talks.” – Dantalion Jones
Learn the vital skills of pitching your ideas and enrolling others into your vision. Get that “Big Yes” to funding your project. “This insightful book shows you how to zing a curveball right past the parts of the Hollywood exec’s brain that want to say no before you even make your pitch. You will learn what works when pitching, and more importantly, why, so you can get to YES much more often. Buy this book now. Consider it Spring Training before the big game.” – Danek Kaus
This invaluable guide, used by people in 15 countries and now in its second edition, will help you become immune to dark persuasion. Learn to use countermeasures to defend yourself against unethical persuasion and seduction tactics. Break any trance in which a salesperson is trying to get you to buy something not to your benefit. “Learn how to defend yourself against manipulation. Best book you’ll ever read to protect yourself, feel strong and move forward in your life. Highly recommended!” – Dr. JoAnn Dahlkoetter
Secrets of Awesome Dinner Guests: What Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Jr., Helen Keller, and John Lasseter Can Teach You About Success … (The Power of Your Personal Brand)
Imagine dining with Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Jr., Helen Keller, and John Lasseter. These seven people share one thing: They’re great communicators. So this book will help you become a great communicator. “Marcoux especially stresses the importance of personal branding, of coming across as trustworthy and dependable.” – Einar Masson
Learn how you can tap into your natural gifts and tendencies to radiate Three Types of Charisma. Discover how to influence people with your words. “Marcoux explodes this myth: Charismatic people always feel comfortable before and during an important event, such as public speaking, networking or some other social event. This book shows how you can feel discomfort but still come across as confident and charismatic.The secrets include ways to radiate all three forms of charisma Marcoux describes as Warm Trust Charisma, Natural Charm Charisma and Magnetic Charisma.” – Danek Kaus
You want wealth, abundance and enjoyment–yes? Wouldn’t it be great to learn the real strategies that the Rich use to create Sustainable Wealth? This book takes you behind-the-scenes to what really works. You’ll see a lot of myth-busting, and you’ll learn the strategies that get real results. “Tom Marcoux gives you an inside look on the psychology of what it takes to be successfully wealthy in life. It’s more than just taking advantage of opportunity, but also about taking care of yourself. This book discusses a number of strategies that we often overlook when it comes to leading a successful life that leads to wealth generation.” – Barry Adamson II
Would you like to Amaze yourself? This book helps you Get Stronger so you can Get It Done! You’ll learn how you can Get Credit for It! All three elements are crucial so you rise to a higher level of success and happiness. Think about it. If you get it done, but you’re a physical wreck—you lose. If you get things done, but you don’t Get Credit for It—you cannot get new clients. And, you’ll lose your current clients—if they don’t know, in their gut, how their lives are better because you’ve brought them significant benefits. Here’s a secret: You can unleash the Amazing You! Executive Coach Tom Marcoux helps you develop Extreme Confidence. “Tom Marcoux, once again, has written a book filled with practical insights and veteran business expertise that allows individuals to acquire the tools to balance personal and professional life. Tom’s wisdom possesses depth and the experience of someone who has ‘walked the walk.'” – Dr. Arthur Ciaramicoli
Are you needing more clients, but you’re failing to complete your marketing each week? Does standard selling turn you off, and you want to do something better? Here’s the good news: “Relax, You Don’t Have to Sell” introduces you to both The Process of Enrolling and Authentic Marketing. Rather than selling, you will learn the process of Enrolling. Develop Extreme Confidence in your communications and outreach activities. Use the essence of Enrolling which is “Don’t sell—Help.” Employ Supportive Listening so people resonate with what you offer. Develop actionable strategies and plans and Gain Clients Today! You Will Learn to: Develop Your Effective Marketing Message * Use powerful Video Marketing * Use Enrolling Methods for Your Website * Use Enrolling Methods for Blog/Enewsletter …. “Relax, You Don’t Have to Sell helps you get beyond traditional sales into the process of Enrolling. I love the fact that Enrolling really connects with the person’s challenge. You’re able to help the person and empower them at the same time. It doesn’t seem like selling; it’s an experience of serving.” – Christopher Salem, host of Sustainable Success Radio Show