November 20, 2015 10:45 am

We all have bad habits that continue to haunt us day after day. We try to break them, but they continue to come back. With all of the attention on you, pitching a product or giving a presentation can make a lot of people nervous and cause social anxiety. Whether your speech begins to slur, your face turns red or you play with your hair, bad habits do occur when the spotlight is on you. Here are tips to help control your bad habits when pitching invention ideas to companies in the industry.

Practice in front of the mirror

Practice makes perfect! When practicing in front of a mirror you are able to see the quirky habits you might do with your body, such as fidgeting, twirling your hair, playing with your clothing or not making eye contact. The mirror gives you the ability to see yourself giving the presentation. You are able to make direct eye contact with yourself. When practicing out loud, you can hear your voice as you present. The more you practice aloud the easier it will be to know exactly what you want to say. Most product pitches give you limited time, so you need to know all of the points you want to make. Be able to talk slow enough so the audience will know what you are saying; if you talk too fast they might not understand the product to its full capability. Jacquelyn Smith from Business Insider suggests to perform your pitch aloud at least once, and the opening and closing at least three times. You are your best critic, so make sure you know what you will physically look like when you’re in the spotlight.

Compete with yourself

Compete with yourself while you practice your pitch and every time you pitch your product to people in the industry. Set goals to reach during each presentation. Whether it is not looking at your slides during the whole presentation, or the decreased amount of “umm” you use, set goals to achieve to make your presentation better each time. Discipline yourself if you do not reach your goal, it can be something such as making yourself practice 5 more times until you have it right, or going through each presentation slide until they are embedded in your brain. After each pitch, write down the things you want to change and can make better. The results might help you land an investor.

Visualize positivity 

To be successful, you need to believe you can achieve it. Larry Kim on INC.com suggests the use of positive visualization. Do not think of all the things that will go wrong with your presentation but think of the things that could go right. If investors are really interested they will ask questions that will benefit their company. Know the answers to all of the possible questions they could ask, such as profit and outcomes of your invention. Not only have answers, but have questions ready for them. If you have time left during your product pitch ask them questions about what their company could do for you and your invention. Imagine the audience loves the ideas, your answers and questions, so that it helps you believe you are able to achieve your goals.

It’s easy to go back to your bad habits without even realizing you are doing them. Try and fix your bad habits with practice and have faith in yourself. With these tips your product might be that much closer to getting on store shelves. Breathe and be prepared to share information about your product and why you think it’s the best fit for each company you speak with. Do you have any rituals or specific tips that you currently use when you get nervous before a big pitch?

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