Pitching is a key part of being an entrepreneur – both when raising money for the business and when trying to attract new clients.  Whilst some pitchers have the gift of the gab, I have seen many who are uncomfortable and do not give themselves the best chance, and it is usually down to poor preparation.

Here are some key things to remember when preparing, and giving a pitch – 


Preparation is as important as passion.  You need to know your company, the industry, some major competitors and have responses to obvious questions that you could get asked.   You need to practice this so you can deliver it in a confident way.  You need to show that you have done your homework and are prepared for all eventualities. 


It is critical to have the right materials in the deck – teaser of business idea, overview of market, problem that your product/service is solving, outline financials and team background.   Then address how you will get your offering into the mkt – the distribution, as having a great product is only part of the puzzle.Keep the forecasts reasonable and point out where you could have over/under estimated – people love big targets, but you also have to be realistic and give yourself room for speed bumps, which always happen.  In my experience I always assume things cost twice as much, take twice as long and deliver half as much as expected – harsh maybe, but often right!


Thoughtful, logical and fact based – as important as passion.Keep the pitch relevant to the investor – find out what they know about the market you are addressing so you can make the pitch at the appropriate level.Don’t show too much joy – it can often mean you taken less seriously.  One joke is fine but not a succession. You are an entrepreneur, not an entertainer.Show industry and specific knowledge so that you can demonstrate that you have the ability to resolve any problems that will inevitably arise.Make sure you lay out the problem that needs solving and then how you propose to resolve it with your offering. Use an analogy if the concept is hard for people to understand or get their head around.
Show that you can act in a collaborative way – by mentioning your shortcomings you can show you benefit from others round you (the whole is stronger), and can listen to other viewpoints.  Show that you are receptive to input and open to learning, even in the pitch. Share how grown from mistakes.Ask questions, admit what you dont know….


The pitch is your chance to explain your business, but investors are buying the person/team as much as the idea, so ensure that aspect comes across as well.  I like the idea of pitching with your personality – if you are confident then let it show (but try to avoid arrogance). If you are less confident then use that as a selling point in itself – you are driven but humble and let your results do the talking – there are a number of approaches you can take. 

This is by no means an exhaustive list so please add your own observations from the pitching you have done so you can learn and evolve your pitch in time.  Once you have done a few, you will get the hang of it so don’t get down if your efforts do not bear fruit, remember how the AirBnB founders must have felt trying to pitch people staying in a random apartment on an a blow up mattress – and that didn’t turn out too badly!

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