IT Marketing Strategist at Ideamotive. Travel addict and remote work advocate.
Have you got a business idea that might change the world for the better? Awesome! That’s the first step. But you need to remember that simply having a great plan doesn’t change anything – until you put it into practice.
The moment you move from holding a vision to taking tangible action is crucial to your start-up’s development. In order to make this move, you usually need to tell other people about your idea in a way that convinces them to work for it, invest in it or promote it.
This is what the art of pitching is about. If you master it, you will be able to make your innovative business idea shine through the crowd of all the other ventures.
Keep in mind that a pitch can take various forms. It can be a formal on-stage performance in front of investors or simply a detour in a casual conversation. However, regardless of the circumstances, there are three essential points you should consider whenever presenting your idea:
1) what you say, 2) to whom, 3) how you say it.
What to include in your pitch
First things first: you have to introduce yourself by name so that your audience knows who is talking to them. If you already established a trading name, make sure to include it. This automatically adds to your credibility.
Start introducing your business idea by talking about an existing problem or customers’ needs that haven’t been addressed yet. Then you can smoothly move on to explaining how your start-up will change things for the better. By presenting the perspective of your customers in the first place, you will stress the practical utility of your venture.
Don’t forget to address the issue of money – how exactly is your business going to profit? This is particularly important when talking to an investor, but not only. Interestingly, there are still lots of idea-driven start-ups out there which somehow forget to tackle this crucial aspect. Remember to explain how you are planning to earn money, and you are already ahead of the game.
If you can illustrate your pitch with a vivid example or a real life story – by all means, do it. This way you make it easier for your audience to grasp the idea and perceive it as a feasible, realistic solution.
Sometimes you will have a lot of time to present your concept, but in other situations, you might need to do it in three sentences. For this reason, be always prepared with a long and short version of your pitch. This ensures that you can adapt immediately and talk about your start-up in a manner that best suits given setup.
Tailor your message to the recipient
Knowing who you are speaking to is essential in deciding on the content of your pitch. Or – whether it is worthwhile to pitch at all. Make sure that you are talking to someone who is actually interested. An investor who already supports your direct competitor is probably not an ideal target.
Start with learning who is this person or company you are about to speak to. This will also help you define the purpose of your pitch – is it to get funding, find the right CTO, or simply spread the word? Adjust the content of your speech according to your purpose.
If you have a chance, study your recipient and their field of expertise in more depth before you pitch your idea to them. For example, if you talked to Ideamotive about designing a new online platform, you could impress us by explaining in detail the features you are planning to include in your new content management system. This way you inform us that you did research and you know what you are talking about.
How to speak in order to get noticed
You probably heard it a thousand times: the vast majority of human communication happens on a nonverbal level. Body language, the manner of speaking, the attitude lurking from behind your words – it is all to be taken into account if you intend for a top pitch.
Although it is more about being in a certain way than doing specific things – here are some tips worth remembering if you want to master your nonverbal communication channel.
Focus. When you pitch, don’t think about anything else. It is easy to get carried away by all the “what ifs”, possible scenarios or pondering on what the audience in front of you is thinking. Remember: when you talk about your idea, your only task is to talk about your idea.
Accept. Your bodily reactions may clearly reflect the fact that you are nervous – you need to learn to be ok with that. Experiencing stress simply means that you are alive and you care. Think of your blush and sweaty hands as proofs that you are engaged and motivated.
Detach. Remind yourself that this is not your only pitching opportunity. Even if you fail, there will be hundreds of other opportunities to try again. And, with each one of them, you will become better in putting your idea forward. That’s because with each one of them you get to practice your pitching skills.
Talk. Don’t read from your pitch deck – this defies the purpose. Speak with your own words instead and maintain eye-contact with your audience. This is how you show confidence and engage your listeners at the same time.
Simplify. Avoid technical language unless it is absolutely necessary. Keep your sentences short. Make your flow simple and get your message through as clearly as possible, without going into needless details.
Have fun. Last but not least: make your pitch fun, whatever this means to you. When you enjoy your own presentation, your listeners can feel it and they have fun with you. And that means they are just one step away from having fun with your brilliant product or service.
We are Ideamotive – a custom web software development company. If you have an amazing idea and would like to make it a reality – we will hear you out and help you carry it on!Drop us a lineand share your vision!
Michał is a digital marketing veteran with a growth hacking mindset and 10+ years of experience. His goal is building high-quality technological content, with particular emphasis on React and Ruby on Rails. Traveler, climber, remote work advocate.