Don’t Lose it in the Interview!

We hear it all the time: firms make the shortlist and approach the interview with the mindset that it’s “ours to lose.” But what does it take to prepare a winning pitch? At Smartegies, our experience tells us that the key to creating a memorable pitch can be summed up in three words: INFORM, INFLUENCE, ENTERTAIN.

Inform – Let the selection committee know what you have to offer. Lay out your points clearly, keeping the presentation on topic and informative. You want the audience to be impressed by your knowledge, yet not overwhelmed by detail. Give your audience a nice balance between high-level understanding and detailed knowledge, providing details in a concise manner that supports your overarching point.

Influence – Give the selection committee a reason to believe in you. Do your research on selection committee members so that your message resonates and connects with them in a meaningful way. By the time you enter the room, you should know what they are looking for and how to satisfy their needs. Think bigger than just selling your services; maintain an understanding of what keeps them up at night or how they define success

Entertain – Be engaging in your approach, using storytelling and theming to carry your message and keep the audience hooked. Find ways to make details relatable through storytelling tools such as anecdotes or helpful examples. Ensure that your team maintains a professional demeanor while demonstrating a friendly attitude, making it clear that your team would be a pleasure to work with on a project.

Getting it right takes practice. Approaching presentations with a plan in place allows firms to clearly define speakers’ roles, thereby allowing you the opportunity to identify gaps in their presentations that could hurt your chances of winning. Get speakers comfortable with delivery and transitions to encourage a smooth outcome and believable presentation that results in winning work! Click here to check out the 9 Recommended Presentation Strategies we recommend all AEC firms use.

For more on the interview best practices and how to tell a compelling story, check out our podcast episode, The Art of the Pitch.