Public Speaking and Pitching


In today’s post, we will be discussing some key difference between public speaking and pitching. Public speaking as the name suggests is the simple art of communicating words and information to a captive audience.

This audience can be of any size or make-up to include attendees at a lecture, conference, ceremony, political rally, public protest or viewers and listeners over television and radio. Pitching, on the other hand, is simply the act of showing an idea or product to someone or an audience and having enough skill to sell the idea across.

Pitching is a popular business tool used by a lot of industry experts to market their ideas through a sale speech convincing enough for people to either buy or invest in them.

In pitching, there needs to be an actual demonstration that acts as a call-to-action. Where it is a product pitch, there has to be an actual prototype of that product on display to give the audience a hands-on feel of the entire experience when they eventually get it. 

A great product pitch should also be strong enough to sway an audience’s emotions towards wanting to part with money on the spot. The late Steve Jobs of Apple was a good example of a great product pitcher. Before the launch of any Apple product, Jobs was popular for holding conferences where he personally demonstrates on a large screen the features of each product with live manipulations and practical usage of them to a wild audience who are then thrilled and could not wait for the release date to get their hands on the product.

Another example of pitching is the act of pitching a product idea in raw form to a panel of investors or industry professionals. This one is typical with start-ups guy looking for investors and seed-funding to raise capital for their products or service.

Public Speaking And Pitching – Key Differences

Many times, a lot of people confuse pitching with conventional public speaking. Though it won’t be wrong in denying that pitching requires some nuances of public speaking to peddle a product or idea, we will be doing some comparative analysis on where public speaking differs from pitching using three types of public speaking as instances.

Public Speaking and Pitching

Pitching Speeches vs Ceremonial Speeches

Ceremonial public speeches are commonly delivered on occasions such as birthday parties, weddings, dinner engagements, funeral, etc. The aim of a ceremonial speech is to entertain the audience and lighten the mood of the occasion with a very personal touch.

This type of speech should not sound as though one is pitching a practiced script to the audience. Ceremonial speeches should come off very informal and as organic as possible; and should be done with the most levity, incorporating as much humor, emotion, and fun, while all depending on the type of occasions.

Typically, a speech made at a funeral should be filled with eulogizing words to stir up the right kind of emotions while that as weddings or birthdays should have as much humor, aimed primarily at the celebrants or couples to entertain the audience.

Related Article: Special Occasion Speech Topics and Tips

Pitching Speeches vs Informative Speeches

The main aim of an informative speech is to explain an idea or relay important details concerning a particular subject to an audience.

A professor delivering a lecture to students in a class is a form of informative speech as well as talks at industry workshops and conferences, which are all regarded as various forms of informative speaking.

One can see where this type of speech differs from pitching in the sense that information passed with this type of speech is always very crucial and its purpose serves not to sell a personal thought or idea but simply to pass down vital information for the sole purpose of educating the audience.

Related Article: Informative Speech Topics and Tips

Pitching Speeches vs Persuasive Speeches

Which persuasive speeches , the keyword here is persuasion. This type of speech shares a few similarities with pitching but still has some differences. While the aim of the speaker is to try to subtly persuade an audience towards an action, pitching tries to sell an idea.

Primarily, when making a persuasive speech, the speaker aims to sway emotion through personal opinion or a viewpoint. This can be very tricky and must be done with stealth and precision.

The important thing here to have in mind is that in order to influence an audience towards an idea, the speaker should be willing to show as much enthusiasm and passion in what is being talked about enough for the audience to buy into it. Pitching stands as being more practical, with facts and figures rather than merely being persuasive.

Always note that the singular most important purpose of a persuasive speech is not to force one’s way through the hearts of the listeners but to slightly nudge them in the path of interest in an idea.


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