The Communication Edge -Moments of Truth by Nick Vertigans

How to show up and create a game-changing pitch “Find your own voice through effective communication. Be yourself and shape the message for your audience.” Nick Vertigans, from London, is a coach, speaker and developer of teams and leaders.


On 6th October, Nick vertigans’ virtual event at Aalto Startup Center brought his audience a step closer to realising their communication potential.

Start-ups can be busy. When making a pitch, finding the FEELING can be the first communication challenge. Nick’s advice was designed to energise participants and help keep their focus on posture and breathing, to prepare both mentally and physically, even before virtual events. Here are the core points for a good communication:

“Think of this as your first lesson: How to perform. Take responsibility for the audience and do what you need to do to get your feeling high. The first moment of truth ‘success factor’ is your energy.”

#Attitude: How do you find the right attitude for your performance? Attitude is authenticity – it shows how much it all means to you. What are you willing to do for your idea?

“When you deliver yourself during any communication, you have more chances to make an impact.”

Forget about your skills, such as your performance language, they’re not relevant. Think about your attitude and how much you value the audience. Your body language says a lot, it is the person within that is the most interesting thing. Why is that? Ask yourself: To whom are you most grateful for what you are today? Think about that before pitching: Who we are and where we come from.

“The biggest influence might be yourself. We make ourselves.”

Being you helps you deliver your message. Only those things that are important are delivered because people buy from people. As much as 85 per cent of all decisions are intuitive, based on feelings not facts.

#Own voice: Our communication usually comes alive when we use movement as we tell our story. The true challenge is how to get that in our business communication.

Think about your message. Is it about influencing, persuasion, updating, informing? What is the hook, i.e. that one liner you are preparing the audience for?

Second, structure and repeat your story, and practise pauses. Most people can take up to three to five points at a time. We don’t just do one thing at a time, but neither do we take on too much. Pausing is a magnificent asset.

“Nothing is better than a pause after a hook! It lets that message sink in.”

Finally, give people an idea of who you are. Ask people where they are from to get an idea and talk about yourself. It all comes down to who you are. ‘People don’t care how much you know, unless they know how much you care’. Be passionate about your story and carry yourself. Consider using visual and auditory aids to help people to recall your message.

#Impact: People love stories, even though only seven per cent of communication-recall relates to the words (according to Mehrabian Theory). Over half of all communication happens through body language, and a large chunk of what gets remembered is called ‘paralinguistics’ or the meaning you put on the words – the way you tell the story.

How can you have an impact and influence?

Identify how clients differ in their thinking and needs and how you can reach them both face to face and in the virtual world.

First, provide some evidence and relate what your clients say about you. Then explain why this is important. Remember to clarify and underline the benefits for them.

“Investors are interested in evidence; advantages and benefits of your services to clients.”

Involve your audience with questions by a show of hands. It really sparks emotion and helps you structure your agenda. Don’t hesitate to use supporting tools such as visual, audio, chat or link to a demo. Be continuous and solid.

How do you support investors and make the best out of a meeting?

A great tool is the POST model for meetings. First think about the Purpose and then the Outcome and what you want to gain. Focus on delivering the story by Structuring and, lastly, by keeping track of your Timing – in the virtual world, we don’t need an hour for a meeting.

Do your homework on your audience in advance: who they are and what they are interested in. This helps you choose the right approach. Investors have very different personal goals as well as industry and start-up profile preferences. Use this knowledge in your approach towards investors.

All in all, it’s all about passion and attitude, and developing good habits in your communication.

“Technique is what you fall back on when you run out of inspiration”.