The Perfect Pitch
You have an idea. It could be the greatest idea ever conceived but if it is not communicated well, it will have nothing to stand on. The perfect pitch is one that suits your idea or strategy, your presentation style, and your audience. The importance of extensive preparation cannot be emphasized enough, but the perfect pitch requires much more than that. Read ahead to see what experts have learned from their years of experience pitching their visions.
The Perfect Pitch
1. Understand the audience
“Investors don’t want to hear about what you’ve got so much as what it will do for them. Focus your pitch on interesting the investor,” said Chris Murray, founder of Varda Kreuz Training. This is where research will help you to understand the best approach to take. Learn about their passions, even outside of work if you are able to find that information. The smallest detail could be your greatest asset. If you are giving a pitch to multiple audiences, it should be different for each group or each individual.
2. Practice, Practice, Practice
“Winging it” might work for some speakers, but it certainly is not advisable. Practicing adds polish, and saying it aloud will help you to better realize what could be said better or what does not fit. If you know that nerves will be a factor, practice is the best way to increase your confidence.
3. Act Natural
Any discomfort will be visible to the potentiel investor or client that you are delivering your pitch to, and many come across as a lack of knowledge. Also, they most likely will be able to tell if you are putting on a persona that is not true to your character. Be yourself. They will appreciate your transparancy and see you as being more credible.
4. Get to the Point
No one wants to feel as if their time is being wasted. Do not make your audience guess what your main point is. Be efficient and informative. You do not want to leave out important facts, but you want to make your intentions clear in a concise manner.
5. Solve a Problem
The product or service you are pitching is your response to a problem you see or a gap in the market. Touch on this problem. Your audience will want to know why you feel there is a need, and it is your job to convince them that there is in fact a need. Show how you can satisfy this need.
6. Show Passion
How can your audience get excited about your idea if you yourself are not? Investors and clients like to see that you strongly believe in what you’re selling. Display your full commitment to your idea. Passion is contagious.
7. Tell a Story
Statistics are important but they do not draw people in. The numbers can back your statements, but telling a story through your pitch brings it color. It also makes your pitch more memorable and shareable. You want it to be talked about. Your impressive numbers are most likely not what the audience will remember as making an impression on them. They will remember the personal touches that you added.
8. Gauge Reactions
Sometimes things do not go as planned. Great speakers read the reaction of the audience as they speak and modify their content and approach accordingly. Flexibility is an incredible asset. If you notice people starting to nod off, it’s time to kick it up a notch.
9. Know the Next Step
You must prepare for a variety of scenarios and how you will respond to them, whether it is a negative reaction or a positive one. Anticipate questions. Having a response on the tip of your tongue will display your knowledge.
10. Have a Backup Plan
No matter how much research, practice and preparation that you do, you cannot predict how the pitch will be received. Or, there could be outside factors such as distractions or technology issues. Hope for the best, plan for the worst. Always, always, always have a backup plan.