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A journey with David Griggs, with a personal touch.

“Next one, Shee Chee!” That’s ME! My heart is pounding hard, I can hear it right next to my ears. NO! It’s in my throat! I’m in front of a crowd, I know some of them but mostly strangers. The timer is counting down… 3:00..2:59..2:58.. My hands are sweaty, my legs are shaking, my mind has gone blank..but..I need to start speaking..how do I start?? *Riiiiiingggggg* Oh! It’s a dream! Maybe not..I do need to pitch today!

Ever had a dream like this?

                              Did your nightmare turn into reality too?

What you experienced was a normal human psychological behavior called “stage fright” or “performance anxiety”. Let me tell you that its absolutely normal to feel that way whether it was to perform to 5 people, 50 people or 5000 people! You are not alone because you have me! Like you, I have stage fear too! In fact, according to Dr. Vijai Sharma, there are 90% of people that feel stage fright at some point of their life. If that is true, 6.66 billion people in the world are Just. Like. You! **Yes! I did check the World Population Clock** How awesome is that?! Now that I made you feel better about yourself, I like to invite you to take on a journey with me and let’s work towards being part of the 10% of world population that are as confident on stage as they are singing in the shower!

I was inspired to write this blog because of David Griggs, a successful and influential speaker, a speaking coach, a business pitch consultant and also the founder of Speaker Studio. It was such an honor to join his 2-hours pitching workshop tailored for the NVI Venture Dorm young entrepreneurs. YES! It was 2-hours! I enjoyed every single second of it and I believe everyone in the room enjoyed it! It was informative, engaging, entertaining and inspiring! I felt like I just pocketed a handful of gems by the end of it. In fact, I felt like every neuron within the creativity network of my brain is getting excited and start spiking new ideas to improve my next pitch! If you are reading this far, you’ll be interested in his workshop and if you’re in Adelaide, you’re in luck! Speaker Studio is based in Adelaide, Australia. But for those of you who would like to have a peek of what’s in the bag of gems, here’s a little “preview”, keep reading now..

Let’s start with some of the concerns/questions asked by the audience during the workshop:

What makes a great hook?

What encompasses a great opening?

How do I control my speaking when I’m nervous?

Story or facts? How do we find the balance?

I have sweaty palms, shaky hands and my mind gone into freeze mode.

In a 5-minute speech, how much time should be allocated to content and etc.?

Can you suggest a technique for preparation before the pitch?

What do you do when you forgot what you were going to say?

How do I utilise my body language to communicate during pitch?

Do they resonate with your concerns? Now what do you see in common between those lines?

I see: Fear. Strategy. Content. Most people fear of being judged. Most people are clueless about planning a strategy to effectively deliver a pitch. Most people find difficulties in content selection.

David Griggs guided us from understanding our fear to strategies to conquer fear and finally unveiling the secret of glowing on stage – with an ICEBERG! Yes…an iceberg! That is the infamous theory of communication iceberg. Have you ever watch a TED show that touched your soul? What you see may just be the words, body languages, gestures or visual aids. But these are just the surface of an iceberg. They are only 10% of a gigantic iceberg of communication. What lies underneath is far more fundamental in giving your audience an unforgettable experience.

The 4 key elements are:

**Drum roll please~~~**


Imagine you’re the audience, what is the kind of pitch that would makes you feel comfortable? Excited? Touched? Inspiring?

How can you deliver it to make others feel the same way you want them to be?

Perhaps a visual experience using presentation slides, videos or whiteboard? Or an experience of sound? Better yet, use props that could be passed around among the audience and stimulate their sense of touch.


Everybody judge! It is not a secret! We all do it! You do it. He does it. She does it. Sometimes even your cat does it. And it could happen in a blink of eyes.

So what’s the worry?

Breath! And I mean deeeeeeeeeep loooooooonng breath. Be confident! Lift your chest up and smile!

A genuine smile is the best first impression you could give to anyone. And have you heard? A smile is dangerously contagious too!

Finally, just Be Yourself!


From who you ask? YOU! Yes, YOU!

Give yourself the permission to shine on stage! In fact, I found a song to go with it – “Permission to shine“. It’s from the Bachelor Girl, an Aussie pop duo from Melbourne!

Here’s part of the lyrics:

“I’m gonna give myself permission to shine~

I’m gonna shine so bright

Gonna make every head want to turn

You’re (the audience? the judges? the investors?) finally gonna see me”

Great song! Download it to your iPod, iPad, iEverything and listen to it while you’re feeling like you need a little ohm of positive energy! ?


Unfortunately, it can be a bit tricky to explain how to breath with words as I’m not a yoga instructor. But the idea is to breath from your diaphragm which is the large muscle just under your lungs.

When you’re tensed, your breathing may feel shallow. So stand up in an open and relax posture. Imagine you’re in a field of fresh flowers. Then, lift your arms up as if you’re holding a big lump of fresh air. Take a really deep breath of the fresh and aromatic lump of air in front of you. Hold it for 3 seconds as your lungs are filled up with air and presses down the diaphragm. Then swing your arms to the left as you exhale, “Hoo..”. Repeat 3 times for each left and right swing. Finally, close your eyes and feel the warm positive energy wrapping around you.  If this is not helping, try yoga!  There’s also many tutorials online that you could watch and learn.

Now that you know the 4 secrets under the iceberg, it is up to you to become your own Guru! All you need to do is Practice! Practice! Practice! ….and…Practice!!

pic 2

Practice to the mirror! Practice to your dog! Practice to your cat! Practice to your housemates! Practice to your siblings! Practice to your friends! Practice to strangers! And …ask for feedback.

Alright, I shall not spill anymore beans from David Griggs. After all I do encourage everyone to have a first hand experience of his workshops or coaching sessions. If you’re a young entrepreneur in the making, check out how NVI Venture Dorm can assist you! Besides David Griggs, we also have a huge team of 250 mentors to help you make your dreams into reality!

Image sources:  Freepik, AWN, Warner Bros. Pictures, Fotosearch, Optin, Orionpax, Devianart,alisonkmarlow

Confident. Courage. Credibility. – by David Griggs, Speaker  Studio

“Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson


An interview with Aaron Butler: A reflection of David Grigg’s pitching workshop

Aaron Butler, Creator of Shelftastic & NVI Venture Dorm Participant

Aaron is the creator of Shelftastic, an auto stocker program that manages inventory by accurately forecasting the users profit maximizing point based on consumer demand. His innovation is underpinned by game theory, price elasticity of demand and transactional analysis that allows it to prevent out of stocks (lost sales). This creates benefits of cleansed data which is better for analytical processing such as customer sentiment, product bundling and price wars.


Q1. Were you prepared before the pitching workshop? Do you feel the same now?
Aaron B.: I thought I was prepared but after I found that I had a lot more to do as there was a lot to it and understanding the audience was a large part. Now I feel better, the session was good in the way of opening up understanding of how people receive information and methods in taking approaches to dealing it to them.

Q2. What did you learn from the pitching workshop from David Griggs?
Aaron B.: Simple is better, however this has created a tremendous challenge for me with a product that is complex and financial in nature.

Q3. What do you think is the most difficult aspect in pitching to strangers?
Aaron B.: Where pitch “simplification” erodes the ability to see the diversification and long term benefits that my customers will experience however making it digestible to the audience is extremely frustrating as an “ideal delivery”. Personally I think it is a draw back from what you are working on and doesn’t explain the maximum potential of a product or its strategic alignment of how it allows you to “break in” and disrupt what is currently in existence.

Q4. How would you before the actual pitch next week?
Aaron B.: Simplification, repetition and explanation.

Special thanks to Aaron Butler for agreeing to be interviewed. All the best to all entrepreneurs in your next pitch launching towards your success!

Shee Chee
NVI Student Brand Ambassador