First time pitching? Here are 5 awesome tips for you
You’ll have heard of an elevator pitch.
20 to 30 seconds to clearly and concisely convince someone.
In the business world, elevator pitches were all the rage a few years ago. When entrepreneurialism was at its peak while still being novel, if you couldn’t sum up why someone should work with your business in a lightning-fast elevator ride, you needed to return to the drawing board.
But fast-forward to when your elevator pitch works, and you’ve been invited to pitch to a bunch of suits in a boardroom. Are you ready for that?
Whether you’re a new business or an executive that’s been assigned their first pitch, this article will give you the low-down of pitch basics.
Brainstorm the basics: What value can you bring to the people you’re pitching to? You’re one of the several other people pining for success – why should they pick you? Grab a coffee and let those creative juices flow. Your pitch should include creativity, paired with practicality. Do some research on the company you’re pitching to for an idea of what their budget may be and what their previous campaigns were. Try to identify what their pain points were and design your service as the remedy. You may find several small but significant ideas rushing onto your draft. Let them. Then be ruthless with the editing process, scrutinizing them down to a few magical gems. Then give these gems the third-degree, anticipating every possible question that may put you in the hot seat. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Know your audience: Your company may be all about millennial-forward concepts but the company you’re pitching to may prefer a more traditional approach. Jokes and witty banter may fly with some audiences but not with others. Understanding your audience will also determine what you should wear to your pitch. Research the company you’re pitching to – from their history, the inspiration behind their company, their goal, and promise to their audience. As you familiarise yourself with this, you’ll have a better idea of how your services can complement theirs, and how you can scale together. Doing your research also shows that you’re interested, curious, and invested in them.
Work on a pitch of yourself: If you’re on the pitch team, you’ll be asked the age-old question you’ve heard from school to your first interview. So, tell us a little about yourself. It’s difficult to pour your entire identity into a few sentences but here’s how you can get around it. Remember that it’s not about you. Highlight features about yourself, your skills, and your role at the company that could be an advantage to theirs. You may want to get creative by adding a digital twist to your introduction. Introduce yourself in person and add in a video to your pitch to further pique their interest.
A winning pitch is in the eye of the beholder: The countless emails and texts we send every day may falsely convince us that writing is the way forward. It certainly isn’t when you’re pitching. Keep your slides 70% visual and 30% written. You or your pitch team will be there to talk them through it so give them some enticing visuals to get their imagining going. There are various free and affordable online tools to help with this – From Canva and Prezi to old faithful Google Slides, keep it neat and easy to visually digest.
Put yourself in their shoes: Practice your pitch in the mirror. Refine your body language. Have a rough script jotted in your mind so you don’t waffle. If you really want to see your pitch from their eyes, put yourself in their shoes. Anticipate what questions a company like theirs could have and check to see if your pitch predicts those questions and efficiently addresses them.
Not what you were looking for? If you expected this article to be about media pitching, you may enjoy this. If you’d like our PR pros to take the reins and pitch your brand to the media, please drop us a line at [email protected]