Magic dust and a good story: How to nail your business pitch
06th Jun 2018
If you want to nail your business pitch, think of it as a story with a start, a middle and an end. It should be a story that tells your listener the ‘Why’ of your business and hooks them in. Your business pitch is your introduction to the world, the magic that awakens an interest in others and connects your business to them. The purpose of your business pitch is to grab attention and start a conversation. Follow these steps to nail it.
Business pitches and business plans are not the same
Your business plan is NOT the same as your business pitch. You might have a business plan, but that does not mean you have a business pitch. A business plan is your backup information, the data you rely on to go into more detail once you have pitched your business.
Think of your business plan as your business roadmap, the ‘How’ of your business. It includes your mission, your vision, an overview of the competitive landscape, how you will reach your market, your financial projections, your implementation timeline and how you will use any investment you receive. The more information you have about your business and how it relates to your market, competition, pricing, bottom line, and cash; the more successful you are likely to be and the better your pitch is likely to be. Think of your business plan as the written description of your business’s future and include the backup information you need to support your pitch.
Your pitch, on the other hand, is the story behind the plan. A pitch is less about details and more about selling your business, and you. It converts the ‘How’ of your business into the ‘Why’ of your business and articulates your story to others. Think of it as the magic dust you sprinkle on the details of your business to bring it to life.
While there are no hard and fast rules for nailing a business pitch, but there are some core aspects that you must include:
WHO ARE YOU?
In one sentence define who you are. Keep this short and concise. Focus on the work that you do, your area of speciality and the things that you do best. Let them see your personality and tell them something personal about yourself.
WHAT DO YOU OFFER?
Tell the story of what you do in your business on a daily basis. Walk them through your day-to-day and display your passion for your business. How did you get here?
WHAT PROBLEM DO YOU SOLVE?
This is what makes your audience care about you and your business. This is your unique solution to a pain point. Using your unique selling proposition, write 1-2 sentences about what sets you apart.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
In a nutshell, write down what’s in it for them. This is the really important question and should be the attention-grabbing hook that engages your audience, as well as your potential investor.
WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH THE INVESTMENT?
Investors want to know how you intend to spend their money. Outline your future investment plans in detail.
Put it all together
When you have each question answered, put all your answers together into one paragraph and say the words out loud. Remember your pitch is not for reading, people will listen to it. Once you have said it out loud, go back and edit. Add in words that you use when talking and make it fun. Get to the point where you are happy with the words on paper and how they sound when spoken.
Practice, Practice, Practice
There is no substitute for practice. The more you practice the better and less self-conscious you become. Say it out loud in the car then ask a friend, colleague or mentor to listen to you and ask for their feedback.
Use the tips mentioned above to compose and deliver a business pitch that will inspire listeners and attract investors. A good business pitch can open doors and put on a journey toward a career that you love. Remember, if you don’t design a career that you love, somebody else will do it for you. And you may not like their version. Good luck!
So, now that you have the info, get pitching!
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