Perfecting Your Pitch

Jake Askew, Cannon Ventures

At some point, every entrepreneur will understand the importance of delivering a concise, effective pitch. Whether you are pitching a fundraising opportunity to investors or trying to sell your idea to a prospective client, a compelling pitch can make all the difference. We have all heard the clichés for public speaking; however, giving a successful pitch takes more than just “picturing the crowd in their underwear.” Here are 5 tips that should help turn your pitch into a powerful presentation.

Start with the Big Picture, Then Narrow Your Focus

First, your audience needs understand the opportunity as well as you do. Sure, you might be able to explain every aspect of the field you are entering, answer every question, and have your 5-year plan scheduled to the day; however none of this will matter if your audience can’t wrap their head around the opportunity.

A good way to combat this is to start with the big picture. Explain the standards of today, the problems associated with these standards, why these problems need addressing, and how you are offering the solution. This helps put your audience on the same level of understanding before you dive into the details of your opportunity.

Demonstrate Your Passion

A passionate entrepreneur will always deliver a stronger pitch than a disinterested one, and your pitch is the opportunity to demonstrate that. There are many ways to let your passion shine through in your pitch, but the most effective way is through your research. Going above and beyond to show a clear understanding of your business and everything associated with it speaks volumes more than simply saying the words “I am passionate about this”. If your work shows your passion then that will resonate more with your audience.

Bring Everything Full Circle

Pitches require entrepreneurs to dive into a wide array of topics. Diving into high-level financials, a go to market strategy, product development, competitive analysis, and more  can make it easy to get lost in the weeds. Remember to keep everything digestible and to bring everything back full circle. The core of your pitch should center on:

  1.      A problem today
  2.      Your solution to that problem
  3.      The opportunity you are presenting to solve the problem

Each topic in your presentation should relate back to these three points and help build your argument for why your opportunity should be considered.

Listen and Understand the Feedback

Finally, if you have the opportunity after your pitch for response, make sure to listen carefully and understand the feedback you are getting. Q&A’s can be as effective for you as the presenter as they are for the audience.Your answers could resonate with the audience and have the potential to push someone from the fence to becoming a client. Or, if the audience is asking a number of questions on the same topic you now know that is an area you need to focus on more for next time. Your pitch should evolve as your business does, and absorbing outside perspectives can dramatically improve the message you are trying to send through your pitch presentation. Treat everything as a learning experience and your pitch will reflect this growth.

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