Delivering a pitch is definitely not an easy feat. You’ll be trying to convince people that it will be in their best interest to pay for what you have to offer. Of course, you can’t expect that task to be easy. Aside from that, your audience has probably heard it all before. You’re not the only one with a business idea, after all. So how do you get them interested? Here are some pointers that you might like to try.
- Be a Boy Scout
The adage “Preparation is key” is probably the best advice you’ll get with regards to delivering sales pitches. Be ready with all your data and projections. If you can, you should also try to bring handy gadgets for your presentation. Moreover, do proper research on the industry you want to be involved in. Stake out the competition, learn how they do business, and devise a plan on how to deliver a better service or product. Remember, you want to convince investors that you have the capabilities of drawing the target market away from the competitors. That way, you’ll be able to show them how you will be able to bring them profit. After all, for investors, earning is the main goal.
- Get to Know Your Investors
Don’t forget to know who you’ll be talking to. Forewarned is forearmed — not that you’re heading into battle or anything. Equipping yourself with basic information regarding the investors will show them your resourcefulness as well as your interest in them. Also, people have different preferences in conducting business. Some are conventional and like to have business meetings inside boardrooms, complete with slideshow presentations and all. However, there are also those who prefer casual settings such as meeting in cafés and restaurants. Find out which kind they are. The more you know your audience, the more you’ll be able to tailor your presentation to best get their attention and make them more receptive to your ideas.
- Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Don’t forget your presentation. Avoid getting distracted and veering off-topic when delivering your pitch — whether you’re in a posh office space or stark meeting room. Small talk may be all right as an introduction and to establish rapport, but you shouldn’t lose sight of the real reason you are there. You are there to convince them to invest on you and your business idea. Be ready with relevant facts and figures as well as your business plan and projection numbers. You don’t really have to present all these at the presentation as you may have a limited time. But it would still be a good idea to have them on hand, in case the investors ask for them.
Look Presentable and Pleasant
Make sure that you look capable and trustworthy but not too serious. It’s been proven that a beautiful smile makes people feel at ease, which in turn will make your audience more inclined to hear out what you have to say. As for the dress code, you don’t necessarily have to dress up like you’re going to a meeting with the president of the Philippines. Your best bet is to dress appropriately for the venue. If you’re going to deliver your pitch on a golf course, dress casual. If you’re going to a boardroom, dress corporate but don’t overdo it. Remember, you’re there to present a pitch, not walk a fashion runway.
- Keep it Short and Sweet
It may be tempting to overload your presentation with facts, studies and all the technical babble you can find, but resist the urge. If you think it will make your pitch more convincing if investors hear you spout jargon and talk like a geek, think again as that will only serve to alienate them. People don’t like to hear about something that’s difficult to understand — even more so if it’s too long and drawn out. What you should do instead is to be straight to the point and remember to answer these pivotal questions:
- What are you offering?
- How unique is your product or service?
- How will you make them richer than they are now?
Most importantly, be relaxed when you’re talking to them. You’ll hardly inspire their confidence in you if you stutter, look anxious, or keep fidgeting. To help you with this, practice delivering your pitch weeks or days before the presentation. The more you practice, the more confident you will be on the big day.
If you’re still looking for a business idea to pitch though, you may get some valuable insights in the Department of Trade and Industry website.
Loren Maluenda writes for Regus Philippines, a branch of the international company Regus, which was founded by entrepreneur Mark Dixon on 1989. The company offers business solutions such as flexible workspaces, meeting rooms, virtual offices and IT support to small and large businesses.