My last post, Make Feedback your Friend, described how experimental opera performers subjected themselves to the potentially painful criticism of a live audience. An extreme form of rehearsal and rehearsal is something many pitch teams go out of their way to avoid. They settle instead for the run-through.
Is this enough and what’s the difference?
The run-through is a necessary activity. It will involve talking through likely content, who says what and for how long, a discussion on visual aids, working out timings and hand-overs, who sits where or stands, how the room will be propped, where will the client sit, what are the likely questions and who fields them and so on.
Necessary but not a rehearsal. Pitching is performance and it is no good escaping the ‘pain’ of rehearsal with a run through. To improve performance you need an audience in front of you. Other members of your team are not good for this. They already know what you are going meant say and will be be more concerned with content than your style.
Any non-participant, given a simple briefing of the context, can raise the value of rehearsal. In any pitch you are putting on a show and in rehearsal you need someone to show off to.