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Freelancer David Beckett uitgelicht

“Create content!”

David Beckett is pitch trainer en spraakcoach en ervan overtuigd dat iedereen door middel van een goede presentatie hogere resultaten kan behalen. Hij begeleidt, met zijn bedrijf ‘Best 3 Minutes’, vooral startups die hun dromen en doelen nog waar willen maken. Inmiddels inspireert David talloze internationale ondernemingen. Wij interviewden David over het ondernemerschap en haar deelname aan de FOTY Awards.

Hoe en waarom ben je ondernemer geworden?

I left my corporate career (16 years at Canon, where I was a Business Unit Director) in 2009, traveled the world, and wrote a book about Amsterdam. I then returned to corporate work, but found I was totally unsuited to it!

I then chose to work on my passion. I am fascinated by the effect Presentation skills can have on a person’s career and confidence, and I love coaching people. When I started coaching Startups to make time-pressured pitches, this seemed to suit me well and customers liked my approach.

Wat doe je precies en voor wie?

I’ve coached over 850 Startups to pitch, and they have raised over €210Million investment. I also coached 100+ Innovation teams and over 12000 professionals of all kinds at companies like ING, Google, Unilever, Booking.com and Tommy Hilfiger. I help them build and deliver a time-pressured pitch to win resources and new business.

Waarom doe je mee aan de FOTY Awards?

I took part in 2016 and enjoyed the celebration of freelancers here in the Netherlands (and I was lucky enough to be a category winner!) I felt my clients have achieved a lot since then, and decided to enter again.

Wat maakt jou uniek ten opzichte van andere ondernemers?

My training is highly active and practical, so startups and professionals can use my tools immediately – in the workshop and in their next pitch. It means they can see an instant jump in quality and their confidence grows. My tools are tried and tested – I have delivered my workshop over 500 times – and as a result all the tools I share are thoroughly proven.
On top of this, I share a lot of free tools. For example, I created The Pitch Canvas©, which is being downloaded over 250 times per week, and I offer a free online course called The Handshake Pitch. I believe people need confidence in their trainer, and these free tools help me share knowledge and build my brand, which adds to the confidence factor.

Hoe kom je aan klanten en waar zitten jouw klanten?

For the last three years, clients have been finding me. I have delivered my workshop in 27 countries, including Argentina, Korea, Macedonia and Dubai, as well as all over Europe – and of course, many times in NL. My LinkedIn network is pretty big (13,000+) and I post regularly there, as well as write articles to share what I’ve learned. I also have one video on YouTube that has been watched over 140,000 times, which is also a way that many people find me.
I also wrote a book called Pitch To Win, which is available in English and Dutch, as well as an Audiobook, and this builds credibility and awareness too.

Hoeveel ben je waard per uur?

This is a private issue, but I can share that my hourly rates have more than doubled over the last three years due to increased demand and international work. A half day workshop in the Netherlands costs €2295 excluding BTW, and attendees get a lot of materials and an online course for that price, so there is not an exact hourly rate.

Hoe blijf je op de hoogte van je vakgebied?

Learning by doing! I’m coaching every day and I gain a lot from what my clients have to say. In terms of keeping aware of innovation, I do read articles on LinkedIn about technology, and I listen to a lot of entrepreneur podcasts – The Startup Podcast, How I Built This and Masters Of Scale. I also listen to a lot of audiobooks.

Wat doe je over 5 jaar?

More of what I am doing now, but with more online tools available. My online Pitch Academy is the start, and I am starting to sell my training methodology to training companies in other countries. My goal is to keep training as many people face to face, and make the tools and my methodology available to more people through partners and internet.

Hoe zie jij je toekomst?

The concept of The Pitch is popular because it is in tune with people’s lives. Nobody wants things to take more time or be more complex, and a pitch simplifies the story in a time-efficient way. I doubt that time pressure and need for simplicity will change too much in the future!
However, I believe at least some of what I do as a coach can be automated using Artificial Intelligence and other technology, and I want to do that myself instead of waiting for someone else to do it.

Hoe hou je je werk leuk?

Honestly, that is easy – I absolutely love what I do! I get to see the results of my work when I see clients, who at times could hardly speak in front of an audience a few weeks before, deliver great pitches. I have delivered my workshop hundreds of times but I know every person is different and therefore every workshop is different and challenging.
I work hard, coaching in the day and preparing after the kids are in bed. But I love it and most of the time it doesn’t feel like work!

Wat is jouw belangrijkste tip voor andere freelancers, interim professionals en zzp’ers in Nederland?

Create content! I’m a big fan of Gary Vaynerchuk, and if you check his content deck and listen to some of his keynote speeches, it will change the way anyone sees Marketing. Create written word, audio or video, and distribute it via key channels – content is everything, and can help build your personal brand as a professional.