If you’re like most people, public speaking makes you incredibly nervous and anxious, even when you have to sell your business idea or pitch to investors on your startup concept. However, pitching isn’t that difficult if you know how to present yourself correctly. These tips will help you nail your pitch and impress potential partners, investors, and employers – even if you consider yourself an awkward speaker!
Know what you want from the pitch
To deliver a good presentation, you must know exactly what you want from your audience. Your goal might be for them to do something: buy into your idea, contact you after lunch, or give you funding. Or, your goal could be for them to listen and learn from what you have to say. Determine exactly what you want out of each meeting so that you can properly evaluate whether or not your pitch was successful.
Understand the client’s needs
Find out as much about your audience as possible. Make sure you’re aware of what they’re looking for, their business goals, budgets, and timelines – and tailor your pitch to clearly communicate these. Remember, it doesn’t matter how good your product or service is if the people you’re pitching to don’t know how it will benefit them. Before sitting down to begin brainstorming, be sure you have all of that information. Never assume anything; find out everything you can in advance.
Practice, practice, practice
It takes lots of practice to deliver a pitch well and with confidence. The best way to prepare is by giving yourself lots of opportunities to do so in front of as many different audiences as possible. A good tip is to practice your pitch while having someone take notes or video record yourself so that you can review your performance later on and identify areas where you can improve. Just like any other skill, pitching gets easier with time and practice!
The pitch needs a hook
Grab their attention in less than ten seconds. A good pitch will create interest in what you have to say. It may be cliché, but a powerful way to start is by asking yourself, “What’s in it for them?” In other words, figure out how your idea or product will improve your listeners’ lives or fortunes – right off the bat. This could be as simple as helping them save time, money, or effort. Once you’ve got that figured out, craft a short sentence (or two) that clearly articulates your main point. If they can read that and immediately understand why they should listen to more of what you have to say, then congratulations, you’ve just won half of your battle!
Do your homework
Know everything there is to know about your business and what makes it unique. When asked how many customers you currently have or why your industry has been growing at such an accelerated rate over the past few years, you don’t want to be unaware. You also want to make sure any potential investor knows exactly what they are getting into if they decide to partner with you.
Have an elevator speech ready
You never know when you’ll meet someone who can help your company. The more prepared you are, the better equipped you’ll be to answer any questions they might have. Make sure your elevator speech is up-to-date and can describe what you do, who you do it for, and why people need what you have to offer. You don’t want to be caught off guard when an opportunity arises.
Whether you’re trying to convince someone that you should be hired for a position, raise money for your startup, or pitch your product on Shark Tank, nailing pitches isn’t always simple. However, if you follow these simple steps, there’s no reason you can’t walk out of an important meeting with that deal – or at least feel like you gave it everything.