26. Own the Room


Your stage, your audience, your moment to shine.

HAVING A GREAT pitch is not enough. You need to deliver that pitch in a persuasive manner. You need to grab the attention of the audience, making them feel as you do that the problem is important. You need to get them on the edge of their seats to hear your solution. And during the few minutes of the pitch, you need to convince them that you and your team are the best people to deliver that solution to the market.

While presenting, you need to be in control of the interaction with the audience. Control the order of your presentation. Ensure they get the full story you are prepared to deliver. Answer their questions, but only after they have the proper background information.

Don’t pitch behind a lectern. Don’t pitch from the back of the stage. Step up as close to the audience as you can. Move your body and head to ensure everyone in the room knows they are part of your audience.

If there is a microphone, check to see if the audience can hear you without it. Sound quality and technical difficulties detract from your pitch. You don’t want the microphone or the lectern to get between you and your audience.

All of this is summed up in the phrase, “own the room.”

RULE 47:
Own the room.

Much of owning the room comes down to confidence. Be confident in your ideas, and let that confidence show in your delivery. Look the audience in the eye. Push back when they try and get you off track. Be nice, but stay sufficiently in control of the conversation such that you succeed at delivering your story and your ask.


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