20. Iterate


Refine, refine, refine… refine, refine, and iterate.

NO MATTER HOW GOOD you are at crafting pitches, your first draft is never your final version. Even if you follow all the rules discussed in this book you should expect to iterate and refine your presentation. Repeatedly.

As you practice your presentation, keep an eye and ear open to where it fails to flow smoothly. Fix those issues. Repeat that process until the presentation feels comfortable. Then find some co-workers, family, or friends to test it out, and ask them for feedback, specifically asking for areas that are hard to understand, sections that are too fast, too slow, too deep, and too shallow.

Once you consider it done and start to present your pitch to actual audiences, still keep revising. Pay attention to which parts fail to resonate with the audience or what clarifying questions people ask, and so on. Make changes to the presentation based on this “real world” feedback.

In short, the presentation is never truly done. It can always be improved. Keep making those changes to make it better, and after a half dozen such iterations, you’ll find that the presentation barely resembles your first draft. While not all changes will be an improvement, if you pay attention to how the audience reacts to each change, you will be able to correct your mistakes quickly and create increasingly more effective pitches.


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