Any PR pro will tell you that they want to be involved with the biggest and best clients. But in order to do that your agency needs to trust you with an important new business RFP (request for proposal). Not only do you need to have the skills and have proven over time that you are an exceptional worker, but you need to be able to speak in front of an audience and be a positive representative of your agency.
At the end of the day, no matter how experienced you may be at giving presentations and speaking to prospective new clients, it’s always important to take a step back and remember some important points.
1. Practice, practice, practice – If you think you can just walk into a presentation or a pitch and get all of your key messages across without practicing … well, lets just say that I hope I’m not part of your team trying to win the business!
2. Speak Up – Not sure you understand everything as much as you should? Think you have an idea that’s worth bringing up? Don’t hold back. There are no right or wrong questions when preparing for a pitch.
3. Don’t assume everyone in the room knows what you’re talking about – Treat the presentation the same way you tell your client to approach an upcoming TV segment. Just because you think the prospective client should know everything about PR and social media doesn’t mean that they actually do. Ask the people in the room if they understand what you’re talking about, make sure you repeat yourself if you think the message is getting lost, and try to use simple explanations in your discussion.
4. Be confident – You are in the room and part of this important business pitch for a reason. Don’t doubt yourself and be professional. Just make sure you don’t come off as if you know everything and you’ll be fine.
5. Work the room – Be proactive and introduce yourself to people before and after the presentation. Start a conversation. Allow the client to get to know you. You may have the best ideas out of any agency presenting, but your agency will not be selected if the client doesn’t have a comfort level with you and your team.