On the 29th of May 2019 (Wednesday), I attended a career talk by the Allianz Life Insurance Malaysia Berhad.
The speaker of this talk is Mr Raymond Cheah, the Deputy Chief Sales Officer of Allianz Life Insurance Malaysia Berhad. He has 25 years of experience in the financial services sector, managing and driving sales for consumer banking and insurance.
Allianz Malaysia Berhad (“AMB”) is part of Allianz Group in Germany. Allianz Group was founded in 1890 in Germany. With approximately 148,000 employees worldwide, the Allianz Group serves more than 83 million customers in about 70 countries.
Allianz General is one of the leading general insurers in Malaysia and has a broad spectrum of services in motor insurance, personal lines, small to medium enterprise businesses and large industrial risks.
Allianz Life offers a comprehensive range of life and health insurance as well as investment-linked products and is one of the fastest growing life insurers in Malaysia.
With 37 branches in major cities nationwide, Allianz Malaysia aims to distinguish itself as the most trusted provider of financial services to suit the lifetime needs of Malaysians and at the same time, play a role as a responsible corporate citizen. (Corporate Profile, Allianz Life Insurance, n.d.)
In the talk, Mr Raymond talked about the secrets of developing a winning pitch and explore the career opportunities in Allianz Life Insurance Malaysia Berhad. He talked about the type of pitching in business.
There are a few steps in pitching. The first step is preparation. Pitching to an investor is not a last-minute afterthought – it is the culmination of weeks, if not months, of planning.
All too often, entrepreneurs do not plan accordingly and then find that the preparation of their business pitch suffers. We must prepare well for the business pitching by asking the 4W and 1H questions.
Knowing the details about the pitch allows us to craft the pitch after we have a clear overview of what we want to pitch.
There are a few rules when preparing the pitch. Keeping the pitch short and simple allows people to understand what we are trying to say. We should also be clear and concise so that people can easily communicate with us. Avoiding technical jargons also help us avoid misunderstanding.
Our pitch should also be a mix of facts and storytelling to be able to convince people about the point we are trying to convey.
Mr Raymond also reminds us of having positive and focused solutions when preparing our pitch. This is to allow us to have a goal in mind about the end that we want. We must never get carried away from our main objectives so that we can achieve the goals we set.
Always provide supportive tools during our pitching. Using the right tools to captivate the audience so that they will be interested in our pitch. During the preparation stage, we should also practice, refine and keep practising to master our communication skills.
Always remember, practice makes perfect and one day we will be able to communicate our thoughts well. If you are prepared, you can focus on your audience, walk around and simply enjoy the moment.
The best way to memorize your pitch is to break it into chunks, where you will have the intro, important points of your presentation and conclusion.
As you practice, give yourself the freedom to speak naturally while remembering the core elements of your pitch.
Make sure to practice in a more conversational style, because this will enable you to memorize the pitch naturally and you won’t feel the kind of pressure you would if you were merely reciting a written pitch word for word.
The second step is mental preparation. Always visualize how the real pitch will be so that you will be able to calm your nerves. Another mental preparation is by demonstrating confidence.
A confident speaker will have a pitch which is relevant, simple and draw a personal story to build rapport with the audience.
Engage in those “fear zones” if you want to have any hope of conquering them, and know that you will probably end up realizing that they were not nearly as scary as you thought.
By producing a credible business plan and presenting your case persuasively, you will significantly enhance your ability to secure funding.
Finally, while the emphasis may well be on an idea, it is important to remember that the pitch has a very specific purpose. This must not get lost in all the details. Mentally tough people have a sense of self-belief over which they have more control than the average person.
The third step is the pitching step. In the pitching step, we must always be able to get the attention of our audience. Spark a ‘wow’ impression in the eyes of the audience and hook their attention with you. Never forget to introduce yourself before you start pitching.
The first few seconds is the most important in creating an impression in your target audience. We must always address needs and offer solutions to our audience. Always highlight the need and provide a value-added solution at the end.
This is how you will be able to ensure you are able to provide something valuable. Entrepreneurs pitch to investors to sell them an idea. There must be something unique about the idea, and it must be pitched with conviction, so as to grab the attention of investors who deal with hundreds of business plans every month. Always be flexible.
Make changes along the way to make your pitch better. While the stubborn often get their way, being stubborn in the face of a strategy that is no longer working will result in failure. To succeed, you have to recognize when change is needed and adapt quickly.
During the pitching stage, body language is also very important. Your dressing during the pitch is also important to create a good first impression. Dress professionally and have a clean look.
Mr Raymond also gives a real-life example of how to have a successful pitch. He shows an idea pitch following the steps he explained. He also showed different types of pitching in the real world. I learn the types of facts that I should include when I prepare a business pitch.
After that, Mr Raymond introduces what Allianz Life Insurance Berhad is.
He talks about Allianz being the largest asset manager in the world and they have over 1 million customers. They are also the fastest growing life insurance company in Malaysia.
Mr Raymond ended the session by having a question and answer session. A few students asked questions and he answered them really well. He explains the challenges faced by Allianz Life Insurance Malaysia Berhad.
There is also a quiz session after the conclusion of Mr Raymond’s talk. It is a recap about what we have learned in the talk and a fun way of interaction among the students. They used the online ‘kahoot’ system for the quiz. There were also a number of gifts prepared by Allianz for the winners.
In this talked, I have learned many useful informations. I have learned how to create a successful pitch in the business world and this is very valuable skill for me in my future career.