What body language should I use when pitching? (Part 1)

Use natural body language. Stand straight, but not in a stiff manner. Use your hands to show natural hand gestures. Use your eyes to be read the room and maintain attention with the audience.


When you start the pitch, make sure you’re standing straight and look confident, even if you don’t feel so confident. This will help you start positively.


Standing on a stage: stand in the middle of the stage towards the front. When referring to your slides or pitch deck, stand to the left of the screen at a 45° angle to the screen so that you can pivot easily between referring to your slides and looking at the audience. This is important because you don’t want to break too much eye contact with your audience and you also want to be able to refer easily to your slides.


Regarding your computer, make sure that you can see it easily and that it is not to your right or behind you. Otherwise you will have to keep turning around and breaking eye contact - this will be awkward for you and your audience.


Stand straight feet slightly apart and have your hands in front of you - not in your pockets. Use your hands to show movement matching with the slides. For example, when showing sales growth on a chart or passage of time make sure that your hands move from right to left. This might seem counterintuitive. However, this will be the mirror image for your audience. For them, time and progress will move from left to right.


When standing on a big stage you can make wider and larger hand gestures. When pitching to a small group keep your hand gestures within a smaller range. Avoid walking around the stage from left to right and back again. This might be distracting as the audience follow you pacing across the stage. Instead, you can pivot to different areas of the audience without walking to the very ends of the stage. Time will be short and so too much walking will be a distraction. Just focus on the message.


Pitching online: when pitching online and close up to a computer screen, keep your hands up and in front of you so that the audience can see your hand gestures. Make sure that your head and top part of you take up most of the screen. Also, remember to look mostly at the camera. You will then have more eye contact with your audience than looking at the screen.


Also, when pitching online, it will be tempting to read from a script – don’t! The audience will notice and you won’t be able to look so natural.


Communicating enthusiasm: use your body to show your enthusiasm and energy in a natural way. This will communicate your personality and enthusiasm for your business. Your eyes and facial expressions will also reinforce your enthusiasm. Be careful not to jump about, but move in a positive way and natural way. The energy in your voice will also help to reinforce your dynamism. When you put body language, facial expressions, hand gestures and tone of voice together, you will create a powerful message.


Putting it all together: your eye contact, enthusiastic manner and body language will be key to persuading your audience that you have the enthusiasm, energy, drive and business sense to succeed. This will be important to demonstrate you know how to do business and will be a great business partner for your investors.




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