Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought it might be appropriate to say a few words about love – and pitching. There are a number of similarities between how you act with your honey-bunny and how you should be acting with your audiences.

Look them in the eye

Nothing builds a connection with someone quite like great eye contact. When you’re pouring your heart out to your sweetie today, you’ll want to do so while looking him or her in the eye to make your words that much more impactful. The same goes for sharing a message with an audience. Make eye contact with as many individual audience members as you can – they’ll feel that much more connected to you and what you’re saying. This is particularly important (and useful) when you’re speaking to a small group.

Make sure you’re smiling

You wouldn’t drop an L-bomb with a frowny face, would you? Love makes you happy, and you’ll naturally be conveying that emotion with an upbeat facial expression. Similarly, you want your audience to know that you’re happy to be talking to them. Think of your audience as a mirror – smile, and they’ll smile back. Everyone wins.

Leave them with a gift

Neglecting to give your sweetheart a gift on Valentine’s Day is likely to get you slapped in the face. Or dumped. You’ll want to give them something meaningful that will bring back fond memories whenever they see that item or relive that experience. How is your audience going to remember you after your pitch? Being funny and interesting will go a long way, but it’s also a good idea to provide a strong takeaway. That could be in the form of an actionable idea to improve your attendees’ lives or businesses, a link to a free download of your work, or a physical gift to take home that day. Whatever it is it doesn’t have to be big, but it should be relevant and meaningful to the topic at-hand.

Happy Valentine’s Day!