Confident but not arrogant, clear on numbers but not too dry, persuasive but not pushy – delivering the perfect pitch is an art form. Here are seven tips to help you nail yours.
Pitching has become an essential skill for entrepreneurs and business leaders. Whether you are seeking investors or making a case for your team’s annual budget, piecing together the right information and making sure you have all the answers is a craft.
The age of hybrid working has introduced a whole load of new skills and balances too. Being able to pitch effectively across different settings — in-person, virtually, or a blend of both — is crucial. Part of it is about kit and having access to the right tech, and part of it is about working in an environment that gives you the space to think and the people to feel inspired by. The rest is down to hard work and an eye for details.
Here are seven tips for nailing that all-important presentation.
- Know your audience
Taking the time to think about who you are pitching to and what they really want to know is important. If you are pitching to investors, what are the key points that link to them? If you are pitching within your own company, think about who needs the in-depth details and who needs more of an overview. It may be the case that you deliver the same pitch multiple times and moulding and refining it for each audience can make you stand out. As Roberto Magnifico, Partner and Board Member of the Italian Lventure Group, says: “Always do your homework on the investors you are about to meet (and this applies to any stakeholder you may interact/meet with) and adapt your pitch accordingly.”
- Make a great (looking) deck
Whatever presentation software you use, it’s likely to involve a deck of slides that will complement and illustrate your presentation. These don’t have to be jam-packed with information, but they are a great way to show your professionalism, your care, and your attention to detail. Keep your branding clean and clear by using a brand colour scheme and font, and bring in relevant images where needed.
Bear in mind too, how they will be viewed. If you are pitching remotely then it’s likely that your deck will be front and centre in your presentation, so it’s worth putting in the time.
- Talk about the people behind the work
Entrepreneur Meike Neitz suggests that one of the slides in your deck should be a “team slide”. “An investor does not only want to know how you do it and why you do it now but why your team is the most likely to succeed in this endeavour,” she says. “List the key people within the team, think about which superpowers they have and why they are a crucial part of your company’s success”.
- Use facts, numbers and references
Ideas are great, creativity is inspiring, but business decisions are generally based upon evidence. There’s plenty of crossover between these two approaches though. Use stats to support each of your asks. Think about customer reach, sales, profit margins and website traffic, or whatever details fit your business. These can form the foundations of your big ideas.
- Keep a narrative
No, it’s not story time, but having a compelling narrative to your presentation can make it easier to follow and help people to understand the ending. A great pitch should flow, have a clear objective, a structured execution plan and a precise call to action. Additionally a projection of expected results will offer a holistic narrative. Once you have formulated the skeleton of your pitch, go back and look at it as a whole piece.
- Talk money without embarrassment
Clarity is key when it comes to money and talking about it openly and without fear or embarrassment can actually help people feel at ease. Vishal Patel, founder of drinks brand Sollasa, says: “Be really honest about the support you need, and give clear goals and outcomes. You’ve reached out to someone who you know is in the investment game, so if you’re not talking about numbers it would appear a bit odd.”
You don’t want to be giving your pitch – the one that you’ve put all of that effort into – for the first time to the people who are making the big decisions. Run through with colleagues. Choose some co-workers to practice with and take the time to listen to their advice. And it’s not just about the content. Practice using your tech and ensure that your message travels in person and remotely if needed. Get a feel for where you’ll be delivering it, and if it’s in a meeting room then think about how remote participants will be included. At Spaces for example, we have large plug-and-go screens so everyone can feel like they have a seat at the table, even if they are on the other side of the world.
Pitches may be as quick as 10 minutes, but they can take weeks to prepare, and a successful outcome could take your business to the next level. Finding a working environment that gives you the space to be creative, the co-workers to bounce ideas off, and bookable meeting rooms for deep focus or presentations, can help to make it all a whole lot easier.
Whether you need a small meeting room or a grand stage, Spaces can help you create and deliver the perfect pitch for any occasion by providing an ideal environment anywhere in the world. Get in touch with one of our experts today to find the right space for you.