It can seem daunting to be invited to pitch for someone, as long as you are prepared and really know your business inside and out, you have nothing to worry about. If you have been invited to pitch your audience is almost definitely already open to and interested in hearing what you have to say, don’t worry about facing an aggressive ‘Dragon’s Den’ style panel, this is very rare in real life! Follow the 10 steps below and you will be well on your way to polishing your perfect winning pitch!
1. Consider what you are pitching for and to whom
Is it funding, a competition, to a potential new client? Bare this in mind when outlining the structure of your pitch and only include relevant information.
2. Begin with a hook
Your first sentence needs to really grab the listeners’ attention, convince them they should pay attention to the rest of your pitch.
3. Use simple language
Not everyone knows the acronyms relevant to your industry; so only use them if you have previously said what the letters stand for.
Don’t use complicated jargon, you’ll run the risk of confusing your audience or sounding like a show off.
4. It’s not about you
Yes it is your business and your product, but your audience will want to hear what’s in it for them and for the customers.
But do make sure you show your passion for your product/ service/ idea.
Here are the key points to cover in your pitch –
- How will it make money?
- Who is your target market?
- Who are your competitors?
- Who are you/ your team, what do you bring to the table?
- Any milestones so far?
Keep it exciting
6. Keep it concise
Decide on all the key points you need covered in your pitch and don’t add any filler, if words aren’t adding value they are only serving to lose you interest from your audience.
7. Know your time limit
An elevator pitch is ideally between 30-60 seconds and is designed to grab your audience and have them wanting to hear more. Get to the point quickly, explaining what the problem is and how you are solving it within a couple of sentences.
If you have 5 minutes to pitch you should cover all the key points and give a little more of a detailed outline of your business/ idea.
In a longer pitch meeting you will be expected to cover the business model, the products in detail, the staff and management team, know your facts and finances, and be prepared to answer specific questions.
8. Be confident
Stand straight with your weight on both feet and don’t shuffle too much with your hands or feet, it’s distracting to the audience and a lack of confidence in presenting can come across as a lack of confidence in your own business.
Rehearsing and being sure you know the details off by heart will really help with this.
Rehearse your pitch in front of family or friends who are not related to your industry, they should still understand what you are talking about.
Time yourself; it is not uncommon to ramble under pressure so ensure you know the time limit and practice sticking within it.
10. Always finish with a call to action
What happens next? Make sure your audience know what it is you want from them and how is best to proceed.