The Apprentice | Former winner reveals top tips for virtual pitching & presenting

Former winner reveals top tips for virtual pitching & presenting

Today is Thursday and that can only mean one thing: It’s time for a new episode of The Apprentice. The popular BBC TV show returns this evening to follow the journey of a handful of candidates as they compete to become Lord Sugar’s next business partner.

The programme, which follows the journey of these budding entrepreneurs, sees candidates undertake a range of business-related challenges that can range from coming up with new products or concepts, to pitching and presenting ideas to people in the business world. These are tasks that often crop up in the working world each day and something that workers are having to get more comfortable delivering in virtual settings.

One person that has already walked in the footsteps of these candidates – and likely knows a thing or two about successfully presenting and pitching – is Ricky Martin, the Founder and Managing Director at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, who was crowned the winner of The Apprentice back in 2012. In a recent interview with HR Grapevine, Martin shared his top tips when it comes to acing a virtual presentation – advice that can be applied to any type of virtual pitch or presentation that workers may have to deliver.

Consider the environment

One crucial area Martin said workers should consider is the environment from which they will be carrying out this virtual presentation. He told HR Grapevine: “Let’s look at what we absolutely need to get right. We need to [ensure] that the environment that we are in is spot on. How [does] that environment look? What room are you doing this in?

“If you are doing it from home, are you in an environment where you don’t have your pets running around, and you don’t have your kids coming in? Are you sat on your bed doing it [with] pillows and stuff behind you?”

He also said that thought should be given to the lighting in the room, and ensure that it is carried out in a room where people feel that they are about to deliver something formally. Martin continued: “If you are sitting on your sofa doing it, it is where you are relaxed, if you are sitting at your kitchen table it is where you eat, if you are sitting on your bed it is where you sleep. People should be setting themselves up [at], ideally, a desk, if they have a desk or a room which feels like it’s not in their comfort zone.

“That, psychologically, will give them the upper hand so that they deliver something to the best of their abilities but what it will also do is make sure that the people who are actually watching you do it will get the best version of you,” he added.

Ensure there are no distractions

Another thing that Martin said falls “hand in hand” with this is avoiding distractions which can come in many forms such as pets, children, pinging inboxes or anything else whilst in a home environment.

To combat this, he said: “People should shut down Teams, shut down inboxes, shut down their phone or have their phone off on the side. Those things are probably tips but also [things to] avoid, because if you are pitching or interviewing and you are distracted, you will present an opinion that you are not interested,” he explained.

So, whether you are pitching new ideas to the Board, delivering a training session, or presenting something to your team from a virtual setting, it is possible that the above tips will help to stand you in good stead.

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