Life as an entrepreneur can mean taking on a number of roles, from CFO, to COO, CMO and CTO, often referred to as the CEO – Chief Everything Officer. One of the most important roles, however, is presenting to potential investors and clients. Here’s our guide on how to win that pitch.
Keep it simple
Don’t overload a prospective client with jargon that makes you sound clever and leaves them feeling confused – or worse, stupid. According to statisticbrain.com, the average person’s attention span is eight seconds (that’s a second less than a goldfish), so make sure your pitch is concise. To stand out from others pitching that day, you need to be dynamic yet simple, interesting yet succinct. Repeat key messages or words so they come away with a clear picture of what you’re offering.
Do your homework
Get to know who you’re pitching to so your brief is relevant and addresses all your audience’s needs and concerns. By scrutinising the instructions they give you, you can be sure you’re giving them exactly what they want. Offering up a fantastic presentation that isn’t tailor-made to their business will lead them to believe you can’t deliver what they want and are incapable of listening to and assessing their requirements. In-depth research shows commitment and understanding from the get-go.
Don’t be afraid to boast
Anyone considering your pitch will want to see your track record. Share your history of relevant successes or how you’ve overcome difficulties in similar situations in the past. Take along examples of your work and demonstrate how you have proven yourself.
Ask them questions
Showing a curiosity and interest in their business is of paramount importance in a pitch because it demonstrates you’re keen to understand their needs. Asking questions also encourages a two-way conversation which helps put everyone at ease. We all like to see people enthusiastic and excited about the prospect of a future business relationship so show your passion and they’ll be more likely to want to work with you.
Practise makes perfect
No one wants to sit through a pitch punctuated with “errrs”, “ummms” and “hhhmmms”. Hearing high-profile people speak without notes is inspiring and hugely impressive – watch and learn from Obama (Barack or Michelle) or Simon Sinek. Don’t just check whether your PowerPoint presentation is running to form and your hand outs are in the right order; take time to learn your lines too. Being prepared helps dispel nerves and will create a better impression. If you’re a small business, you need to come across as professional as possible, so be prepared and show how them seriously you’re taking this pitch.
Enjoy all The Clubhouse has to offer to make your pitch stand out. Book any of our individually designed, high-specification meeting rooms and boardrooms, or for the real wow factor, The Greenhouse. If you haven’t yet been shown how to use it, pop in to The Clubhouse St James’s for a tutorial on how to use the MT Canvus video wall.