“Walk boldly into every room,” Precious L. Williams, Killer Pitch Master
Welcome to the Pass the Mic and the Defining Moment series. We’re giving powerful women the opportunity to make the world their mentee. These rockstars are joining us to share their stories and sage advice with up-and-coming women.
This fall, we had the pleasure of being a part of the Sistas in Sales Summit in Queens, NY. While there, we had the honor of sitting down with Precious L. Williams for a one-on-one Pass the Mic interview.
Precious is the CEO of Perfect Pitches By Precious, LLC, and she's a 13-time national elevator pitch champion and bestselling author four times over. She has appeared on ABC's "Shark Tank" and CNN and was featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Black Enterprise magazine. As if her resume weren't impressive enough, she has also slayed two TEDx Talks.
If you haven't pressed play on the interview above, do it now! Hit the play button near her lovely face. In just 10ish minutes, you'll laugh, cry, learn—and leave so motivated you're ready to take on the world. Because we know you'll want to relive this one, we captured some key quotes and takeaways below. (We even got you the timestamps, so you know where to go.)
Be deeply flawed and beautifully human.
"I love what I do. But I also love showing people what people really want to hear—not the perfect story, not the perfect anything… It wasn't until I went through the darkest times of my life that I was able to become vulnerable and show people that the perfect they see online, the perfect they see everywhere else, isn't real. And it's okay to be flawed. I'm deeply flawed and beautifully human, and that's what I see in everyone else. And let's bring that out and showcase it to the world." – Precious L. Williams [0:48 – 1:28]
Show you're the only choice that matters.
"When you first think about a pitch, you have to hit the basics… But as a killer pitch master, we're going to take it to the next level… The best thing that you can do in your pitch is show why you're the only choice that matters. If you sound like everybody else, you're average, random, and ordinary. I want you to be extraordinary being you—whether you're an introvert or an extrovert or an ambivert." – Precious L. Williams [1:40 – 3:08]
Take a niche and show what you can do with it.
"My first company was Curvy Girlz Lingerie, and that's when I learned that I'm really great at pitching. When people told me I was too fat, too black, and no ivy league degree, I was like, 'Oh, that sounds like a challenge…' In 14 [pitching] competitions, I won 13 times and then went on to teach at Harvard, Columbia, Babson College, George Washington University, Spelman College. I love that I took a niche and showed what you can do with it…
I walk in boldly because I belong in every room I'm in. And I want women to feel the same way." – Precious L. Williams [3:26 – 4:18]
You don't have to look or sound like anyone else.
"When I started, you know, when I started in corporate America as a former attorney, it was always you should be in the back. As a black woman, put your head down. And over time, when I started my companies, I realized you could be the worker bee or the queen bee. I choose to be the queen bee because I want to make and have a decision in the process… I'm going to talk. I'm going to sit at the table I'm supposed to sit at...
I'm still Precious Williams—whether I have blue hair, pink hair, or whatever. But I held the microphone to give other women permission. You don't have to look and sound like anybody else to make it. And when I walk into the biggest companies in the world… they're like, 'Come up because you're different, and we need to shake things up.'" – Precious L. Williams [4:30 – 5:34]
There's room for all of us.
"Every woman in any industry should not all look and sound and act the same… There's room for all of us, but you've got to see it in yourself, too. If I belong everywhere I'm supposed to be, when I walk in, you're going to feel my energy. I'm going to laugh; I'm going to do whatever I'm going to do, but I hope that gives other women permission. But as I pass the mic, use it—and then unlock that for another woman." – Precious L. Williams [6:38 – 7:00]
The second chapter is better than the first.
"When I went through homelessness from 2017 to 2018 on the streets of New York City… They said, 'You'll never be on stage. Your best is over.' I'm like, 'Nah, the best is yet to come.'… When I walked out of homelessness on September 1, 2018, I didn't know I was walking into something so huge, and that by me going harder for my dreams, it showed other women that they could. And four years to the day that I walked out of homelessness, I was speaking at BMW in Greenville, SC. I killed the stage… People stood in line for four hours for me to sign my newest book… So, the second chapter is better than the first…
People don't talk about failure enough, and that you can fail forward, and that it really is a steppingstone. But not only that, who needs to be around you to keep you going? Who do you need to be around? Who's your support network? I didn't pay attention to that. So, I was a lone wolf—don't be the lone wolf because you'll be by yourself struggling. I shouldn't have been homeless, but I was ashamed. Don't let shame and guilt hold you back. Your destiny is in front of you, not behind." – Precious L. Williams [7:38 – 9:20]
Find your walkout song (or playlist).
"I first start with Michael Jackson's 'Bad' because you know if you can be bad on a Brooklyn subway, you can be bad anywhere. Number two is 'Diva' by Beyoncé. Number three is 'Moment for Life' by Nicki Minaj. And then we got to end it on Eminem's 'Lose Yourself'… because it's time for me to hit the stage. And I don't go to compete with anyone… I don't see competition. I'm ready. Whoever you put on stage before or after, they're going to remember Precious Williams." – Precious L. Williams [9:45 – 10:17]
Who could ever forget an interview like this? If you're ready for more inspiring wisdom from badass women, check out more Pass the Mic content.
A special thanks to Monica Robles, Sales Director at Pandora for interviewing Precious L. Williams.