We've all heard it: Practice Makes Perfect – But How Much Practice, and when do you know it's perfect? I run a pitching conference for a living, so let me sheds some light on the three stages of Practice, and why you have to go through them all to get the pitching moves like Jagger.
The First Stage: You're Pitch Stinks
This is the beginning of practice, it's when you have a good idea of what you want to say, but you say everything out of order, you use a lot of filler words like “Um” and “ah” and “literally”. This stage is especially frustrating for those that used to do all their math homework “in their head.” You'll know when you have finally passed this stage when you can deliver your presentation straight though several times without stumbling over a word.
The Second Stage: You are a Robot
This is where most people give up on practicing, they realize they sound like a robot or a 5th grader at a science fair, and they assume this whole practicing thing makes them seem less authentic and human than they were when they started. The second stage is the reason why so many great ideas never get told. Don't give up, don't stop here, continuously run through your pitching program and reboot your robot until you reach stage three.
The Third Stage: You've Got Moves Like Jagger
The third stage is the most fun: this is what I like to refer to as the rocking stage. You'll know when you are at the third stage because you will be so giddy that you no longer look and sound like a robot that you'll actually add dance moves and obscene hand gestures to illustrate your points. This is when you know you are in the home stretch, get comfortable with your movement, learn to take up space with your body and words. If you think your audience will appreciate your dance moves, keep them in, if not, chuck em' and go for something more subtle outstretched arms or an arched eyebrow. True rockstars, like Mick Jagger, know that moves, not just words are what get audiences begging for more.
Don't forget to sign-up for the beta launch of Pitch Refinery's online peer reviewed pitching collaborative, or register to attend our September 22nd and 23rd live event in Chicago and get all our great content concentrated into two days of training, workshopping, practicing, and Mick Jaggering!