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Eight Tips on Perfecting a Business Pitch

8 Tips on Perfecting a Business Pitch.

Whether we like it or not we are constantly pitching our businesses and ourselves. Your pitching could be at a networking event, on social media or in more formal ways, such as a meeting with investors or customers.

This pitch can least from 140 characters (think Twitter) or it could be as long as an hour. If you listen to a TED talk all their presenters have 18 minutes to talk. Which has been thought to be the ideal length of time to get your message across and keep your audience engaged.

So what makes a high quality pitch? Doing some research on line I’ve come up with these following points:

  1. Have a hook; for example; In this room we have 20 small businesses. Statistics show that half of all small businesses fail in the first year. Who wants to be one of those businesses?

  2. Get some interaction – for example; Who in this room is in their first year of business? Raise your hand.

  3. What do you do and what do you specialise in? For example; I specialise in working with pre-start and early stage entrepreneurs to ensure that they grow their business to a stage where they can support themselves and their business, businesses usually up to three years old.

  4. Think WIIFM – I heard it described as ‘get them tuning in to Radio WII FM!’ – or ‘wiifum’ – the acronym stands for What’s In It For Me? If you are not telling them what is in it for them why would they buy from you or invest in you? What problem are you solving for them? Make sure you evidence the WIIFM.

  5. Avoid jargon and acronyms. Need I go into why?

  6. Prepare, Practise, Passion – the 3 P’s of Pitching. – the more you practice the more you will be ‘pitch perfect’. You don’t want to be stumbling through your pitch or through the questions that they may ask you. Watch some pitches on You Tube to see how to and how not to pitch. Practice in front of someone who will give you honest and constructive feedback. In your preparation, make sure you think carefully about what you are wearing. Do you look smart and investable / buyable? Are you wearing comfy shoes if you are going to be on your feet for a while? And make sure you get your passion across. If you aren’t passionate about what you do, how can you make anyone else be passionate?

  7. Visuals. Do they really enhance your pitch? Do they add value and gravitas? Visuals don’t need to be a ‘Powerpoint’, they could be your product or they could be something else. The important thing here is that they add to what you are saying and don’t detract from it.

  8. Have an ask. What is your call to action? If you are not asking, then why are you pitching? For example: “What I am looking for is people who want to trial my amazing product. I’ve demonstrated how you will gain from it, what the value proposition is. Now I want you to join me. On each of your seats is a card and a pen. (Show them!), I want each of you to fill out the card with your name and email address and I will book you in for our free trial” Equally you may be asking for finance, if you are pitching to a group of investors. Remember to ask for the money. If you are pitching for a sale or contract, ask for the contract or to move it on to the next stage.

There you have it. 8 basic, simple tips on creating a great pitch.