Perfecting Your Business Pitch
As we springboard into 2021 and you consider starting a new business with the new year, you may find yourself developing a pitch deck. Do not fear! You are the expert of your idea. And don’t forget that! It is important that your pitch reflects who you are and what you want people to think of your company. Your pitch can be thought of as meeting someone for the first time, the first impression. Here you will find a few tips for perfecting your pitch as well as a general outline to follow.
Keep it simple and straightforward.
Do not sugar coat. You only have a few minutes (usually) to showcase hours or even years of hard work. Do not waste time. Be sure what you include in the pitch has great importance, will resonate with the audience, and brings value to everyone involved. While passion is important, the judges do not want to sit through three minutes of why YOU love the product.
Presentation skills are half the battle.
Take a deep breath. You can do it. Remember, you are the expert. Maintain eye contact as much as possible and keep a confident stance. Presentation skills will come naturally to you if you are passionate about what you are talking about. Practice makes perfect. Run through your pitch several times and always time yourself. Record yourself and listen back.
Sometimes with excitement and nerves presenters will go super speedy, leaving their audience completely lost. Don’t let that be you. Calm down, breathe, and proceed. Sometimes you will have a great pitch and a great product, but if you cannot enthusiastically and confidently relay that to your audience it is a lose lose situation for everyone.
The first 30 seconds of your pitch are crucial. Just as we discussed the first impression concept. Within the first 30 seconds is when you have everyone’s attention and when they will draw the most conclusions about you. Keep it light, keep it engaging, and show them that you care about the vision. Avoid asking questions as your opening hook.
Your hook should come naturally to you. If you are using notecards, you should at least last a minute before having to reference them. Be clever and confident with your hook. Eliminate any confusion possible. Within your first slide or two everyone should know what the company is and your purpose. We do not want to be half way through the pitch and find people wondering, ‘So what’s the product?’
Pitch Deck Outline:
Do what works best for your company and include slides that highlight the best parts of you. Some pitch competitions will have specific guidelines to follow. For example, a time limit, certain financials to include, or what the seed money will be used for. Make sure you understand the expectations of the presentation completely. When structuring your pitch deck, do not clog up your slides with an excessive amount of words. Place images and graphs where you can. Keep it visual and brand cohesive. Do not add in crazy transitions between slides. Your pitch deck is simply a visual aid and a support tool for you. The real focus is on what you are saying. Remember, you are the expert. Make it your own. Below is a suggested order and topic list for discussion.
Vision/Value Proposition - The Hook
Target Market and Opportunity
Marketing and Sales Strategy
Financials - do not simply screenshot your balance sheet. Make your financials as visual as possible and include future projections.
Investment and Use of Funds - be straightforward with this.
Optional Topics You May Include:
- Meet the Team
- Demonstration of Product
- Exit Strategy
- Customer Archetype
- Ending Slide with Contact Info
If you need help perfecting your business pitch, please give our team a call today!