It always makes me feel uncomfortable when I start working with a new client. In the past, when I was in corporate and worked for someone else, starting any new job gave me the same feeling: nervous anxiety. Being new at a job can be scary, in large part because often you have to learn on the go, no matter how experienced you are for the position.
When I start a new job, or take on a new client, I envision what will this work look like 3 months, or even 6 months, down the road. Why? By then the nerves will have settle down, I’ll know the routine and I’ll feel more confident. Which is, I’m guessing, how we’d all like to feel when we work with (and for) other people.
Confidence and contribution can fuel productivity and value. When you’re confident in knowing what you are capable of, your ability to contribute increases. And when that happens, you’re not only more productive but now you’re also more valued by those you work with and work for. Confidence and contribution seem foundational to the success of those around you and also for you personally.
So how to be more confident? If you are an introvert, this can be even more challenging, but do not fret - it is very possible!
Often it’s a matter of getting the right training, so you know what you’re doing for a client. When I started out as a Producer of Speakers, I definitely learned the hard way of what not to do for a client. We’ve all been there where we’ve had to learn from our mistakes. And, we’ve also been in a position where we can learn from our training, from our grounded experience.
Take for example, when I was first began pitching speakers for more speaking gigs. At the time, I didn’t understand the best way to write an effective pitch, so my confidence waned. But as I did more and more pitching, I began to see a difference in my “Open Rate” for my clientele of speakers. The practice, the learning my lines, and refining my pitch all helped in gaining more confidence.
Since I specialize in training authors, entrepreneurs, small business owners, executives and virtual assistants in how to pitch, I have put together my top 3 tips to help you gain confidence too. If you are an introvert, or if you are shy about putting yourself forward, you might want to try these key things I learnt to get over your fears!
- Write open-end questions in your email pitches: Never just ask an event planner or a promoter, “Are you still accepting speaker applications for your upcoming event?” It’s too easy for the host to mentally say, “No,” and just move on down his or her email list without taking the time to respond. Ask the event host, “What are you looking for in a presenter?” Get them engaged in the conversation and always operate from a curious mind-set.
- Always reference the event name: Do this in either the email body or preferably in the subject line of the email. Many times, when I was starting out, I would just write, “Are you accepting applications for your upcoming event?” And I’d leave the name of the event blank, as it were. This is problematic because as you gather back your responses, if you haven’t reference what event it is, very quickly you’ll get lost in bland, unnamed emails. When that happens, it’s really easy to lose track of an event and (worse) miss the deadline to submit a speaker proposal.
- Use a variety of communication and outreach techniques: Some planners love email, others hate it. Some use LinkedIn or just like to pick up the phone and talk. Find out the best way to communicate with your list of event hosts, and then continue to reach out to them in that manner. In the beginning it will take some time to discern their favorite means of communication, but it will be worth the effort.
With these pitching techniques, you can benefit from my mistakes made, my times of anxiety, when I didn’t know what I was doing.
Learn from these to build your confidence when supporting a person of Talent and pitch with confidence!
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