You have a story to sell.
You have your story to sell.
And the only thing standing between you and your dream of doing that is a single pitch. The stakes have never been higher.
The clock is ticking. The time is running out as the moment of truth keeps inching towards you. And you are just sitting there, rummaging through your head. Trying to find a way to put your idea into words.
This is the perfect time to relax and take a deep breath. Because no one knows your idea better than you and you have complete faith in it. You just have to convince the audience that it is an idea worth having faith in as well.
The first and most important thing to do here is to make sure you are not just talking about your idea. You are talking about how your idea will benefit others. For example, when selling a bed you are not actually selling a bed. You are selling a good night’s sleep.
Now before you start writing your pitch, there are a few things that you must keep in mind.
Direct Your Pitch Accordingly
Who are you trying to convince or sell something to? Maybe you already know your receiver. But if you don’t it is a good idea to define the profile of the receiver, which you can bear in mind when writing your pitch. This means that you can target the content of your pitch to the receiver. So the question is: is it a potential client, a possible investor or your future business partner you are pitching to? If you are pitching to a possible investor you must focus on the business potential of your idea, the scalability and the team behind. You should also focus on specific tasks and activities they can contribute to in order to reach the goal.
Do Not Be Vague!
In order to target the pitch to the receiver, it is useful to examine or assess the receiver’s prior knowledge, attitude and possible prejudices against the subject or project you are pitching about. For instance, if the receiver has some prior knowledge about the subject, then you can incorporate that knowledge into the pitch, thereby directing the content to a field familiar to the receiver. On the other hand, if the receiver doesn’t know anything about the subject then this must be taken into account too – even though it may seem trivial to you.
Know the Requirements about Content and Time
You must consider the context of the pitch. In some situations, there may be explicit or implicit expectations about the content of your pitch. For instance, an investor almost always expects you to present potential earning drivers, the team behind the idea and how far you are in realizing the idea. The time limit is another fundamental constraint in any pitch. Therefore, there will always be a limit for how long you are allowed to present. It is crucial that you respect the time limits – only in that way you can pitch all of your pearls of wisdom.
Once you have all that sorted out, you can start writing the pitch! The best way to do it is by breaking the pitch down into 4 different segments,
- Hook: Make a catchy start to get your audience’s interest. As human beings, we are naturally adapted to sort through the input we receive through our senses. We do this unconsciously all day long. That means that we – and our listener in a pitch situation – automatically stops listening if the pitch is boring, complicated or uninteresting. Then the listener has more important things to take care of or thoughts such as “what’s for dinner” or “did I remember to send that email”. To capture the listener’s attention and avoid your pitch to be labeled uninteresting, you need your hook – short, easy to understand and captivating.
- Problem: Describe the specific problem, need or cause you are concerned about. What is the current situation and which people or organizations are affected? Why is this situation important to work with? When you pitch, you are affecting both the people and contributing to the creation of something new. Therefore, it is essential that you spend the time on something interesting and important. If you don’t have anything good or important to say, don’t say anything at all.
- Solution: How will you solve the problem, cover the need or work with your cause? Explain how your approach is different and better than other existing solutions? A strong pitch is built around a strong and interesting message. You may be a good communicator but if the message itself is not relevant, the pitch will only be good entertainment at best. So make sure your solution is solid and to the point.
- Close: And finally, you need to land the ending. Talk about the current status and what exactly do you want. Depending on your goal for pitching in the first place, tell the person you’re pitching to about what it will mean to you, if you get it. Make sure you tie everything up in a nice bow so your pitch holds together.
And there you go! You now have cooked up the perfect pitch that will ensure that your idea finally gets what it deserves and your dreams become a reality. Let the sky be the limit!