The dreaded business pitch — we all know its importance and we know that if we want our businesses to grow and thrive then we need to be able to make good pitches to investors and customers. Whatever the purpose of your business pitch, here are some sure-fire ways to make it more effective and increase your chances of success.
1. Bring on the Data
A serious business pitch driven on emotion and sentiment alone will never do. Those things have their place, but if you don’t have data-driven audience insights for new business pitches, then you’re doomed from the start. A business pitch will invariably mean talking to serious investors like venture capitalists who want to know every detail they can about a potential investment before they let a cent of their money leave their sight.
Let the data speak for itself, and use the passion and emotion simply as proof of your own commitment and belief in a project.
2. Stick to the Point; Be Concise
Not going off on wide tangents is critical during any business pitch. The best pitches in the world should be able to be finished within a couple of minutes. You may have been given more time, but you should be able to condense the entire thing into a small window of time. If you can’t, then you haven’t nailed down the main aims of your idea clearly enough (see point 5).
Keep language simple, and avoid using management and business jargon. You might think it makes you sound more professional, but it’s tired and meaningless language, for the most part. Combine your concise language approach with the hard data we mentioned above and it’ll be hard to go wrong.
3. Detail is Everything
You have to know the ins and outs of your proposal by heart and have all the bases covered. So many pitches fall down because they’re about woolly and vague concepts that have no substantive detail to them at all. You need to have detailed numbers, not guesses; you need to have detailed plans; not just notions.
They say that the devil is in the details, but actually what you’ll most likely find in the details is the likely success or failure of your pitch! Details are king, and they’ll help you greatly with the next point.
4. Anticipate and Prepare for Questions
If you’ve paid enough attention to detail as we mentioned in the previous point, then you’ll be able to handle this one easily. Regardless of how good and thorough your pitch is, you’ll certainly have to field questions at the end of it. You should first prepare for questions by thinking about what details they might want to inquire about that you didn’t work into your main pitch.
When answering questions, be direct and forthcoming with your answers, dealing with the main answer to the question in the first sentence. You can add an explanation if you want, but always address the main point of the question as early as possible.
5. Outline Your Main Aims Simply
If you can’t outline your main aims within a single sentence, possibly 2 sentences at the most, then your aims are likely too diffuse. You need to be very clear about what your business pitch is about, what it’s saying, and why it’s a winning proposition. If you don’t have these things, then you have nothing. Too many pitches get lost in lofty and nebulous ideas that are only explainable using the above-mentioned and much-hated jargon and buzzwords. Clarity, concision, and precision are your allies in any business pitch.