5 Tips to Perfect Your Business Pitch
Many small businesses and budding entrepreneurs know it’s all in the pitch! Whether at a networking meet up, business meeting, casual coffee, or a more formal pitch competition like local 5×5 nights and beyond, opportunities to sell your business idea are just around the corner and can happen when you least expect it. That’s why it’s important to be able to distill your idea into a short, persuasive summary, motivating investors to get on board or potential customers to convert.
Here are 5 ways to perfect your pitch and nail it!
1. Avoid Superfluous Words (Don’t beat around the bush either.)
Focus on the core message you want to give. Use that message as the centerpiece of your pitch and make sure it’s verbalized within the first 30 seconds. Don’t be overly “salesy” by dancing around the point of the speech, that will only annoy and disinterest people. Be short and to the point, not overly verbose, use phrasings that you feel confident saying and are sure other people would understand.
2. Practice! (And then practice again.)
Understand that you have to practice (a lot) to become comfortable and familiar with the material. If you aren’t well rehearsed, that will shine though during your first networking event. Prepare and practice in front of anyone, your family, your dog, at a toastmasters group, your partners, with us, and anyone who’ll listen, until it’s as easy as telling your favorite story to a friend.
3. Don’t Be a Broken Record
Before you attend a conference or create a pitch for a competition, do your best to understand the composition of your audience. Try to identify what drives that particular crowd so you can adapt your pitch accordingly. It shouldn’t be exactly the same pitch for a potential investor vs a potential customer. Yes, this becomes more natural with practice. Once you get the key points of your pitch down, you can more readily change it up on the fly as needed.
4. Make an Emotional Connection
Formal presentations are just that – formal. Think engaging PowerPoint presentations and pitch decks, data and details. Quick pitches are different. You have about 5 minutes or less to make an impression, and that often requires invoking an emotional response from your audience. High level statements and buzz words are in one ear and out the other, but a strong story that connects your listeners to the idea, that’s going to stick around.
5. Be Confident in Yourself as a Business Professional
Believe in yourself as a business professional. You’re selling yourself as a trustworthy, experienced entrepreneur just as much as you’re selling your product or service. You may have an amazing idea, but if you come across as awkward or uncommitted, people aren’t going to pay attention. Play the part and trust that you are worth listening to, that internal confidence will shine outward.
It’s all about getting people to understand your business and your potential, and gently pushing them to connect with your story so much that they want to support it financially. Understanding your story, your business idea, and how you’ll make money to grow the business and pay back investors should all be conveyed quickly and effectively. Take time to create this pitch, and practice to perfect it as much as possible.
Interested in putting your pitch up to the test? Check out 5×5 Night through Start Garden, Michigan Women’s Foundation Dolphin Tank Plan and Pitch Competition or InnovateHER with the Small Business Administration. Contests like these give you a platform to pitch your business or startup idea in front of a panel, and the opportunity to win prize money.
At GROW, we offer a variety of workshops and training options for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. Start by joining our Intro to GROW free class that introduces you to the many programs and services we offer (including business pitch development and practice). We hold this class the first and third Thursdays of every month with a session from 12-1pm and 6-7pm.
Contact us to learn more and sign up today!