How much time do you need to explain your project? If in 30 seconds your listeners can't understand what you want to do, and how you want to do it, you'll probably have a hard time finding investors.
What is the Pitch
The concept of 'Pitch' was born in theater, as a result of the need to convince directors and producers to bet on a theatrical play, or as a way for actors to demonstrate their ability to play a certain role.
The pressure of competition has brought it to the business world as a form of demonstrating the skills of a job seeker or entrepreneurs looking for investors who sought to take advantage of the awkward silence felt in the elevators and take advantage of the opportunity to draw attention to themselves or their your projects.
Today, although it remains as a communication tool to meet someone important in the elevator, it is increasingly used as an eliminatory factor in most startup contests or by investors looking to evaluate a large number of candidates in a short time. That's why it's very important that you train your pitch to clearly and naturally expose your arguments.
First, think about what you want to say and to whom you are going to speak. In fact, it is always useful to have a 'pitch' suitable for different situations. One with a focus on sales, the other on the financial aspect, or on procedures, depending on the person to whom it will be presented. If the 'elevator talk' is interesting and has merit, it may continue after the presentation, or alternatively end with an exchange of business cards or a scheduled meeting.
Pitching is used in numerous professions, including project managers, salespeople, evangelists, and policy makers. All of them usually train and use the 'pitch' to be able to make their points of view count and hold the attention of their interlocutors in a short period of time.
Essentially, the 'elevator speech' is not just about clearly conveying what you do, but you must say it in an interesting way, holding attention. If, for example, you are asked 'what do you do', don't just say 'what is it' – A doctor 'saves lives', a financial adviser 'helps people optimize their financial resources' – Make sure your words get the other to ask you questions, this will make him focus on you.
Also, it si important to look for the differentiating factor, what sets you apart from others, but be always factual. Qualifiers reflect opinion and, therefore, they can be contested, facts however are undeniable and work in your favor. Finally, identify the obvious questions and don't include them in the 'pitch', this will cause you to be asked questions. You should have the answers 'on the tip of your tongue'.
To help you, here are some 2 fundamental tips on how to build a 'pitch' for your business:
A good starting point is to define the 3-2-1 rule, that is, the time you will need to present your idea. Assume you only have three minutes, and prepare your message to be displayed in that time frame. Then reduce it to two minutes, and finally to just one minute. You can only convey your idea in these spaces of time if it is clear enough in your head, for that, put everything on paper. But don't decorate! Try to understand the different modules into which you can divide your message.
Finally, train your speech well. Ask family or friends for help. Record all attempts and review them to find out what you can improve. Train yourself to go from a three-minute pitch to a two- or one-minute pitch if you feel the conversation is going to be interrupted. Or, on the contrary, ‘extend’ the one-minute period to the two or three-minute period, if you feel that you have held your attention. But don't forget: don't talk too much, let them ask you questions.
Start by introducing yourself and specifying the purpose of the conversation. This is the moment that specialists call the Hook
or Opportunity, the one where the interlocutor's attention is captured. You can choose to tell a short story, or use a slogan or quote.
2. The SolutionExplain the objectives of your project: what is the business model? What needs does it satisfy and what problems does it solve? Try to be assertive and articulate ideas clearly.
3. DiferentiationExplain the differentiating factor. What argument will make your customers choose your product? What is your niche market? Be convincing in defending what sets you apart from the competition. Keep the focus on the customer benefit and not the technical features of the product or service.
4. Market PotentialCharacterize your consumers and point out your main competitors. Give an example of a known customer. Use quantifiable references, with reliable sources, to increase your credibility. Establish comparisons. Demonstrate that you have studied the market and that you do not confuse innovation with the absence of competition.
5. Business Model & RevenueNow that you've demonstrated the potential of your idea, it's time to move on to ways to monetize it. How will your startup generate revenue? Explain also what channels (online, retail) and marketing strategy you will follow and make sure you show that your paying customers are there! You can also refer to the technology, team and strategic alliances if any.
6. Progress & FinanceExplain what is the progress your in and what you will you do to reach your first customers. Also talk abot your timeline, your goals and how they will reflect the way you plan the future of your business. Also make sure uou already have a finantial plan for your business, including funding.
7. Call to ActionThe purpose of the pitch is to obtain a result, so the conclusion of the message should be an invitation to action, whether it is asking for a meeting, or requesting an investment. Anyone who watches the pitch is waiting for an order, and this one says a lot about your ability to understand what it takes to make your business work.
Presenting the PitchAfter structuring and training your speech very well, it is time to present your 'pitch' to the 'real' audience, whether investors, customers, partners or other entities that could boost your project. Here are some tips:
Breathe!Don't try to tell everything at once. Present two or three ideas and try to make them clear to your interlocutor. If using slides, use little text and clear images. Give your listener pauses to think.
Use emotionBe convincing and touch the heart. Talk about what you love or use humor.
InnovateSurprise with something unexpected. Look for something that will make your presentation memorable.
Set the HeadlineWhen preparing your pitch identify the most important message you want to get across, and when presenting your speech verbally highlight that information, saying for example: ‘the most important thing I want you to remember is…’
The last thing not forget is: to be successful in pitching, as in everything in life, you need to practice. The more you practice, the safer you will be, reducing nervousness and hesitation. But above all, the more you practice, the more natural it will look. Remember that 'pitch' is not theater. Avoid drama or comedy. The best asset of an entrepreneur is his sincerity.