Whether you’re pitching your new business to an investor, your new TV show idea to a production company, yourself to a potential employer or an idea in your next staff meeting, there’s a few things that can make the difference between success and falling flat.
We’ve collected some of the best pitching advice from around the internet for you.
Keep it short
“A brilliant idea means nothing unless you can distil it to a few moments of sheer power. The more concise you can be, the more effective you will be,” advises Entrepreneur.com.” The last thing you want to do is bore your audience with details they can learn about later – concentrate on vital facts and statistics.
Tell a story
Although the facts are important, you still need to draw your audience in with a little intrigue. “Storytelling is a scientifically-proven way to capture a listener’s attention and hold it,” say Entrepreneur.com. Take the room on a journey together, that has a clear beginning, middle and end.
Tell your audience what’s in it for them
A great way to cover all your storytelling bases is to live up to your audience’s expectations and tell them what they want to hear – what’s in it for them. Business Insider recommend using ‘Monroe’s Motivated Sequence’ to persuade your audience that they’ll benefit:
- Relate to them
- Convince them they ‘need’ your product or idea
- Give a solution to their problem
- Help them visualize a future with your product or idea in it
- Tell them exactly what you want them to do today and what will happen next
Be prepared and know your numbers
How many times have you seen would-be successes on shows like Dragons’ Den let down by not knowing their numbers? Richard Branson has previously shared his 5 steps to pitching on Virgin.com and highlighted the need to be clear on the financial and legal aspects. “Would-be investors will want clear, fact-based estimates of their potential return on investment,” agree Bytestart.co.uk.
Have a clear aim and call to action
“Whether to get the ball rolling on a job or project or something larger, you should know exactly what you want from this presentation before you plan on going out and executing it,” say Business Insider. Your pitch should close on a clear call to action – be clear with your audience on “what needs to happen in order for them to realise the results that you have discussed” suggest Virtualspeech.com.
Be confident – or fake it
Even if you’re not feeling confident, it’s vital that you show confidence in your idea. There are a few tricks to faking confidence when you need some help. “Removing yourself from the situation emotionally and instead pretending that you’re simply playing the character of a confident business person is one way to achieve this,” say Bytestart.co.uk. If your hands are shaking and you are holding papers, put them down to hide it, and remember to breathe.
One way to help keep your nerves under control is to know your pitch inside and out so you can reduce the worry of forgetting what you’re going to say. Practice out loud repeatedly, record it and listen to it, and practice in front of family or friends.
Be able to adapt
Oren Jacob went from 20 years working with Pixar to co-founding his own company, so he’s no stranger to telling stories and pitching. “The first thing to know is that no pitch is static. It evolves based on who you’re talking to, where you are, what you need to get across,” he says. Jacob believes you should always be practicing your pitch, so if new information arises, you can add it in without a problem.