As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it’s vital that you get people to ‘cherish’ your service to maximise your chances of surviving austerity. To do this you need to present your service in the best way to stakeholders – this may be internal stakeholders, government or the public. You need to stand out from the crowd.
There are many ways to structure a short pitch to grab the attention of people and engage them. The overall aim is to present yourself as being both clear and credible. You must establish quickly why your audience should consider you are worth listening to. Remember, you do not have long to grab the imagination and interest of your audience.
Your pitch must stand on its own and motivate people to CHERISH your service. Here are my top four key tips to help you structure your pitch:
- Outline clearly the service you are responsible for and what it delivers – perhaps you can provide an example of what would happen if your service were not delivered.
- Provide the audience with an idea of how much is being delivered, to whom, when and where. Provide some examples of what that means in terms of things delivered per capita, per householder, per user, etc.
- Persuade the audience that you offer the best way to deliver this service and that there are no alternatives today that could deliver the service better.
- Provide some proof of what you have told people and clearly substantiate your claim to offer the best service delivery by perhaps citing improvements you have made, benchmarking your service against those of your peers or alternatives, and perhaps providing a case study or live example that adds weight to what you are saying.
You will probably need to draft, redraft and draft again. Refine and finalise your pitch and then practise it over and over again. Remember, it cannot be a great pitch if it only exists in your head.
Be specific and avoid the use of any jargon or ‘organisation-speak’. Remember that man on the Clapham omnibus again? What would he understand in your use of language? This is only a guide, so you will need to think about how this would work for your service. Public services are as varied in what they deliver as are the delivery organisations themselves.
It could be that at first your pitch is a little too structured. You will need to practise delivering your pitch to your own staff and stake- holders and then refining it on the basis of their responses. With rehearsal and refinement will come clarity.
Taken from my book How to Survive Austerity which is available to buy now on Amazon.