Tag Archives: elevator pitch

Zorg voor een flexibele structuur

Gisteren kreeg ik een heel leuke mail van iemand die ik onlangs coachte voor zijn presentatie. Hij bedankte mij omdat de presentatie zo goed verlopen was maar wel in het bijzonder omdat ik hem een flexibele structuur had aangeraden want zijn presentatie was net voor het spreken ingekort tot 10 minuten spreektijd. Als structuur hebben we het piramide principe gebruikt en ik raad dat aan voor elk soort presentatie omdat de boodschappen er veel duidelijker uitkomen. Tevreden publiek dus, tevreden klant en tevreden coach :-)

invitation to my home…

casa SImply Talking 1

On May 8th I combine my 2 passions again: cooking and inspiring you for your next presentation. Topic is storytelling in business presentations!

I welcome you at 8:30 with breakfast, we start at 9:00, I share my ideas based on the interviews I did with CEOs and VPs to inspire you how to tell your story (short if high level). Please bring your laptop with a presentation you already did or we can work on a presentation you still need to do. I prefer to make this session as interactive as possible! You learn how to stay in control during your presentation, how to pitch, how to convince an audience, and what the most common mistakes are speakers make so you can prevent them.

We end at 12:30. But you cannot leave without a warm meal (last time it was my home made lasagne) and one of my chocolate desserts… Your investment is 300€ for this workshop. This session is limited to 8 people! You can mail me to enroll or ask more questions on sylvieverleye@icloud.com

Is your company presentation a christmas tree or a story?

large_6604960497 I actually should have written this newsletter one month ago as I love to compare company presentations with christmas trees. What we tend to do is focus on detailed slides, like a brochure. And as we all know by now that visuals work in slides, we decorate the bullets with pictures, even clipart (still), pretty much like a christmas tree. But here’s a question for you: do you show and comment these slides when you present your company or do you have a story to tell??

I advise you to focus on a story and use your slides as backup to use them if needed during the discussion with your prospect. Of course, the first thing you will do is ask questions and get to know what their problem or question is though at one point you will have to tell your story. You should be able to tell that story in 1 minute, have a 5 minute version and sometimes it can be even a longer version.

Here is a guideline you can use for your 1 minute that is actually the basis for every longer presentation you would do:

  • Describe a situation, which often results in a complication
  • Ask the most important question linked to that situation
  • Give an answer, which is your core message

When your answer is a solution, end with the 3 most important reasons why this could be a solution for your prospect.
When your answer is a specific product or service, end your 1 minute with the 3 most important benefits for the customer of that product or service. 3 is a magical number, easy to memorize for you and memorable for your audience.

Don’t just focus on a agenda saying where you come from, how big your are, what your mission is. Focus on them, give them benefits, tell your story and prepare it well!



Workshop ‘pitch your idea’ on January 29

January 29 I organise a workshop at my home (Nieuwenhove, near Ninove) where I combine my 2 passions: presentation and cooking!

casa SImply Talking 1


The program looks like this:

  • I welcome you with a lovely breakfast
  • Based on the many interviews I did with CEOs you get ideas how to persuade a high level audience
  • You experiment with my ‘Simply Talking’ presentation model that works if you need to communicatie to 1 person, during a meeting, or even a big audience
  • For lunch I serve my home made lasagne (vegetarian version and meat version)
  • You receive personal feedback on your style and get ideas how to really connect with your audience
  • You don’t have to prepare anything, just bring your laptop and real presentations that you have already done
  • And you have to taste my chocolate pie before leaving (although I will provide fruit salad for the health addicts) ;-)

There are still some places left, price is 300€ for the whole day everything included. If you are interested, mail me at sylvieverleye@icloud.com

Pitch your idea and make it short


Last week I heard once again that when you need to talk to a high level audience you better be prepared to make it short. It is not because they have given you 20 minutes that you will actually have 20 minutes speaking time. It is not because they let you begin your talk you won’t be interrupted…soon. So be prepared! Here’s an idea for you.

Next time you have to talk to a high level audience split your presentation in 2 parts: short talk of no more than 5 minutes and lots of room to fill in the details with a discussion. TELL your audience upfront that you only need 5 minutes to get your main messages across and afterwards you discuss the details together. Build your 5 minute talk around the main conclusions! And don’t end with ‘do you have any questions’. End with a valuable, straight forward question like: ‘On which parts would you like me to provide more details’ or any questions that works following your talk. Move from a monologue to a dialogue and notice how efficient this technique can be!

How to create a great pitch?

origin_2336190711  I don’t know why but lately I get a lot of questions on how to pitch? My first question then is ‘where do you want to use your pitch?’ An elevator pitch used for an informal networking event to let people know what you exactly do is significantly different from an investor pitch. My tips will focus on a pitch that you need to do ‘on stage’.
1. Focus on the WHY
Far too many presentations focus on ‘what’ and ‘how’ though the audience is far more interested in why because then it is linked to them. An investor needs to know why he should invest. This is not one of your agenda points. Your whole pitch focusses on the answers to this question.

2. Tell stories
You can tell audiences about the super team you have, your great product, facts & figures… but you can only make them care when you gives them examples or share anecdotes that proof what you say.

3. Connect
Your story should focus on them but so should you! A presentation is never a one way communication. Stand close to them and interact. Give them individual attention when you talk. Focus far more on them than on your PowerPoint. Ask questions to them. Make them part of your presentation. Don’t just talk to them, talk WITH them. It is less intimidating and allows you to communicate in a much more effective way.

Enjoy your next presentation!

e-Book on how to communicate with impact!

Presentation Tips from Presentation Coach Sylvie Verleye….After blogging and writing for 5 years on the topic of communicating with impact and presentations I decided last summer to share all my tips in an e-book. I had shared this free e-book after the summer break to everyone who had subscribed to my newsletter. As the feedback was so positive I have decided now to share it with everyone as a kind of New Year’s gift. Enjoy reading Presentation Tips from Presentation Coach Sylvie Verleye.

Expert Academy 2011

Evenement van Expert Academy waar ik één van de sprekers was…


‘Embrace’ the energy of your audience

Believe it or not, the easiest thing you can do when confronting an audience is to stand as close to them as possible. It might sound frightening but just try it out…. Every audience has an energy and most of the time they are really positive and want you to succeed. Use that positive energy, embrace it and feel one with them. It is no you and them, try to find an ‘us’ when you present. This is wonderfully demonstrated by Benjamin Zandler.