Are presenting, pitching and public speaking all the same thing?

I’m enjoying spending a lot of my time at the moment training people on giving presentations. Or on pitching. Or on public speaking. The title of the training or coaching varies according to the client but I’m aware a lot of the skills I’m helping people develop are the same.

I always encourage people to set some objectives before they start planning their presentation/pitch/speech, both for themselves (what do I want to get out of it?) and for their audience (what do they truly want to get out of it?). I work with people to find their personal presenting/pitching/speaking style and to make the most of their voice and body when speaking in public. I also offer advice on great openings, a great finish and those tricky bits in the middle, dealing with nerves and building rapport among much else.

Are presenting, pitching and public speaking the same, then? Simply – no. Just as no two presentations should ever be the same (as they should be adjusted to every audience, situation and occasion), presentations, pitches and speeches are all different beasts and should be prepared and delivered accordingly.

All three have different purposes – pitches, for example, are normally to win business or to present an idea/proposal to a client. A presentation can be much broader, but tends to be to impart information or knowledge or perhaps inspiration. This last factor is sometimes shared with speeches or public speaking, where an audience is often looking for something less tangible to take away such as motivation or new ideas. None of these (incredibly brief) descriptions are definitive but my point is that while many of the skills necessary are the same, presentations, pitches and speeches ARE different and as such require a different focus, different preparation and different content.

The skills and preparation that are common to all three formats are, however, essential business skills, but it’s amazing how many people don’t equip themselves properly, preferring to either muddle through and get it over as quickly as possible (and regardless of the outcome) or pass the buck completely and let someone else take the floor.

If you’d like to be a better presenter, pitcher or speaker, I’m running an intensive one day course in Brighton on July 30th. Full details of the course contents can be found HERE or you can book your place (and there are only 10 available) HERE.

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Steve BustinAuthor: Steve Bustin (20 Posts)

I'm a media and communications trainer, working under the Vada Media and Medical Media Training brands, based in Brighton but working nationally and internationally.

You can also see my google+ profile here.