Everyday thousands of keen entrepreneurs pitch new ideas to potential investors in hopes of securing their money and support. With so many new businesses to choose from, how do you ensure that your pitch makes your business stand out from the rest? To help answer this, I have created a list of seven ways to make your business pitch stand out from your competition.
1. Make it personal
Undeniably, the best way to spark someone’s interest and support is to engage with their emotions. A great way to do this is to open your pitch with a customer story that shows how your product solves real life problems better than those currently in the marketplace. Not only will this make your pitch more personal and reliable but it also allows ‘another voice’ to speak about your business and demonstrate exactly why it will be successful. When stories of success come from real-life customers, potential investors will feel that they can trust your business to be profitable as it already has happy customers.
2. Familiarise yourself
Investing in a new business is a risky decision for anyone to make, especially when they do not know the person who they are giving their money to. Talking about yourself in your pitch can help investors to know the ‘face behind the business’ which will strengthen their trust in you as a business person. Great things to talk about could include your previous experience in a related industry, any academic success that you have had and anecdotes that explain the reasoning behind your new business idea. Each of these points will ensure potential buyers that you know exactly what you’re doing and why you’re doing it which will make them more likely to invest!
3. Bring branded treats or gifts into the meeting
Many investors will sit through business pitches for hours each day and will most likely become bored of the same speeches and long-winded business plans that are presented to them. Bringing branded treats or gifts into your meeting is one way to give them a break from tedious speeches while showcasing your creativity and marketing initiative. Afterall, everybody loves treats! Make sure to choose a treat or gift that fits perfectly with your business, is easy to carry around and can be personalised with your branding. For example, macarons are light, easy to personalise with colour or images and are fairly affordable for new businesses.
4. Confidence is key!
Why should a stranger believe in your business if you hardly know it yourself? Standing rigidly and reading straight from a PowerPoint doesn't showcase your own passion or knowledge. Your presentations should be used to simply summarise key parts of the pitch, you should NOT read directly off of them! Instead, memorise your speech and give yourself room to improvise. Not only will this make you look more professional but it will showcase your passion, which is what people want to see. Speak clearly with confidence and avoid filling silence with sounds such as “ummm”- these make you seem unsure and confused by your own pitch!
5. Know who you’re pitching to
Whilst your product will not change between meetings, the people who you are pitching to will! Use this as an opportunity to direct your business to them by understanding exactly what they’re looking for and selling yourself from there. A simple Linkedin or Google search will give you all the information you need about a specific company or professional and can get you a stead ahead of your competitors.
6. Be creative with your presentation
The focus point of any pitch is the presentation or ‘pitch deck’. For many new business owners, a PowerPoint presentation will seem like the easiest and most straightforward way to create excellent slides and, whilst PowerPoint does offer a variety of eye catching designs, it is overused and unoriginal. To stand out from competition, try using more advanced software to create your slides such as: Intuiface, Animoto or Slidely.
7. Keep things short and sweet!
When presentations are too long, it can become easy to forget important information or mix up points with others. To stop potential investors from becoming bored and lost when listening to your pitch, try to keep it between 10-20 slides. Each slide should include, short, bullet points summarising the main speech and your main points should remain clear throughout the presentation. Avoid becoming side tracked with a long back story or long-winded explanations. Keeping your pitch short and sweet will make it more memorable for those listening which will keep investors thinking about your business even when the meeting is over.