Day 11 – Anne Marie Henry’s Crema Cafe Elevator Pitch

“I don’t really like public speaking,” said Anne Marie on Day 1 of Aboriginal BEST…right before she took a deep breath, glared ever-so-slightly at us (wink wink), stood up, then introduced herself and her business idea to our Aboriginal BEST class.  10 days later, this Instagram video shows how much Anne Marie has been practicing her public speaking skills, building her confidence, and refining her ‘pitch.’  =)Elevator Pitch Practice BEST

We understand that most people fear public speaking.  Sharing your goals and dreams with others can sometimes be even more intimidating for those of us starting businesses!

But our goal in Aboriginal BEST is to create a safe, welcoming, yet challenging space to push ourselves a little more each day.

Effective public speaking is both a science and an art.  There is a science that makes sense – almost like technical ‘points’ for following a logical order; speaking clearly and loudly; being prepared with props, slides or handouts that support your presentation; and for enunciating your words carefully.  Yet it is an art to be able to pick an appropriate tone, to emphasize main words and key phrases, and to adjust on-the-fly to clarify important points. Excellent speakers know how and when use humour effectively; they can gauge the mood of their audience and then adapt their style to get the best impact.

We like to say that effective public speaking is based on the combination of these three key elements:

1. Know your content. The more you understand both the ‘big picture’ and ‘small details’ of your business and industry, the more you can focus on the ‘art’ of speaking

2. Know your audience. The better you understand the expectations of your audience (whether that’s your grandma, your classmates, a teacher, a lender or a potential investor), the better you can adapt your pitch to suit their needs.

3. Know your own presentation style.  If you are a strong storyteller, then structure your pitch to flow like a story. If you are a quiet, shy person then

Even though people feel like you might die or throw up, no public speaking disaster has seriously injured any of the 2000+ Aboriginal BEST class participants who’ve risen to the challenge and ‘sucked it up’ to do their elevator pitches, too.

Tomorrow’s post will have more details and links about ‘effective’ public speaking.

For now, we’re proud of Aboriginal BEST students like Anne Marie who are working hard to refine their business knowledge and presentation skills.  This class is all about learning something new about ourselves and business opportunities.  We challenge students to write down or record their ‘a-ha’ moments.  Make time to revisit your past goals  – with a new outlook and approach. Apply a critical eye to TV shows, ads, and signage that you see every day; assess the advertiser’s impact in promoting their brand or attracting their target market. Gather data to back up your beliefs.

Most importantly, reward yourself for being here – and for pushing yourself along this new learning journey. When we encourage people to practice their pitch every day in class, to keep refining their words, to have confidence in themeselves… that’s when the REAL magic happens!

Congratulations to Anne Marie for sharing her elevator pitch… especially when I ‘voluntold’ her to do it on Instagram for us at the end of a long day analyzing the ‘Costs of Doing Business.’  She’s building her skills and confidence every day! =)