It is so simple to say, but surprisingly difficult to achieve in the hot house of a pitch when nerves are jangling, but being yourself, being conversational, is all that is needed to get through to your audience. You do not need to be an actor or assume the mantle of a speaker on a soap-box at Hyde Park Corner.
In informal, non-pitch meetings, that is how most of us are. Engaging, listening, allowing space for response or for our words to be heard/recieved. Under pressure to ‘perform’ in a presentation, there is always the danger of going into hyper over-drive, talking at, over emphasis, losing awareness of whether the audience is in recieving mode. You stop being your natural self.
This issue is well expressed in a recent post on www.presentationzen.com “In Zen, we put emphasis on demeanour, on behaviour… the natural expression of yourself. You should be true to your mind, expressing yourself without any reservations. This helps the listener understand more easily…. Without any intentional, fancy way of adjusting yourself, to express yourself as you are is the most important thing”.(Shunryu Suzuki).
The secret to being yourself is simple. Rehearse. The more you rehearse the more natural you become. And the easier to listen to and understand.
Thoughts on how to rehearse are in the Best Practice Guides.