Pitch-Perfect: Your ultimate guide to nailing the art of the business pitch!
Let’s dive into the world of pitching – the tale of your product and your company! Whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned pro, there’s always room for fine-tuning your pitch. And guess what? We’re in this together, so let’s roll up those sleeves and dive right in! We’ve also made these great quick videos to give you all the tools you’ll need.
Picture this: You’re about to give your pitch, and the room’s buzzing with curiosity. But hold on, before you dive in, start with a friendly greeting. Why? Because when people like you, they’re more likely to lend a helping hand.
Now, here’s the fun part: add a catchy tagline that packs a punch. Think of it like an opening line in a blockbuster movie:
“The biggest change in making sandwiches since sliced bread”
“Our product can be used over 100 different ways, seriously”
“This is an idea Jeff Bezos wishes he’d had”
Don’t you feel the urge to hear more? That’s the secret sauce – hooking your audience right from the get-go!
Every new business or entrepreneurial idea is solving a problem, sometimes referred to as a ‘pain point’. What’s yours? Include facts, data or statistics if you have them to make your idea more compelling. If your audience understands the problem, they’ll be more inclined to back the solution. And remember, pause for dramatic effect – let your words sink in.
Now that you have their attention, unveil your solution! Explain how it works, share testing results and back up your claims with evidence. This could be stories, videos or statistics to drive your point home.
KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER
Time to introduce us to your target market. Get specific with gender, age, demographics, interests – maybe even their income. How do you communicate with them? What are their media consumption habits? Do they tune in to the news, hang out on social media, or spot ads on buses? And, for some extra credit, spill the beans on your customer acquisition cost.
UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION (USP)
You’ll hear a lot of acronyms among the start-up and entrepreneur community, and USP is one that matters. What sets your business apart? Why is your idea better, cheaper, more effective than the competition – and there is always competition! Your USP could hold the key to unlocking your first investment, deal or partnership.
A solid business model is important to show how your business will operate and make money. It covers things like the basic cost of your product or business, what it will cost your customers, where your revenue streams will come from and whether you’re planning a single source of income or multiple revenue streams. Even if you’re not there yet, investors will want to know you’re thinking about these things.
Don’t be shy – list your accomplishments. Let us see that you’re the kind of go-getter who’s ready to roll up their sleeves and get things done. Share your vision for the future. How do you plan to scale your business? Who’s on your dream team, and who’s missing in action?
THE ASK or CALL TO ACTION
This is one of the most important bits of the pitch. What is it you need to take that crucial next step? In other words, what are you pitching for? It may be seed funding, a partner or some media coverage to get word out about your brilliant product or service. Don’t be shy, know exactly what it is you want, and ask for it with confidence.
WRAP IT UP
Wrap it up by thanking your audience for their precious time and offering ways to stay in touch. Hand out those business cards, encourage them to follow you on social media, or even share your contact number.
CHANGE IT UP
It is important to have different versions, or iterations of your pitch. After all, you won’t always be presenting before a group of interested potential customers or funders, you may bump into them at a networking event or be part of a panel where you’re called on to give a brief impromptu rundown of your business idea. You’ll want to know your key messaging and what is crucial to convey, even briefly. It’s your so-called ‘elevator pitch’. Be prepared to deliver it smoothly and easily no matter what the circumstances or length of time.
Now you have your perfect pitch we have some tips and tricks to help you deliver it for maximum impact.
We can’t emphasise how important this is. Practice practice practice! Practice in front of the mirror, practice with your dog, your best friend, your worst enemy, a business mentor, a trusted colleague. Ask them if they have questions, and be prepared to answer them. There is no quicker way to trigger nerves than being under-prepared so what do you have to do? That’s it. Practice.
Some people love addressing a crowd but let’s face it, most of us don’t. Pitching your idea to just one person, or a roomful of people, can be nerve-wracking. So before you begin your pitch make sure you’re warmed up and ready. Do some vocal exercises, physically shake out the nerves, get some fresh air before you go in, and don’t forget to breathe. After all, deep breaths are proven to calm the nervous system. And positive self talk works. Don’t take our word for it, try it yourself.
If you can commit your pitch to memory it’s an added bonus. It means you can hold your audience’s gaze rather than look down at notes, and deliver your pitch with confidence.
It may sound obvious but there are little things you can do that make a difference. Take pride in your appearance, dress in a way that is neat and presentable but that makes you feel confident and comfortable. Smile, speak clearly, and look people in the eye. Stand up straight with both feet on the ground and speak with confidence. You believe in your product or service – so should they.
We know that a good pitch can make the difference between losing or winning over a potential investor or customer. Now you know what to do, get out there and prepare and deliver your perfect pitch. The world deserves to know about you!