If you work at a company, whether it’s a startup or a large corporation, you’re sure to be more than familiar with the word “pitch”. Several years ago, it has been the replacement for the traditional business presentation.
What is a pitch?
Basically, a business pitch is a short presentation where we describe a company, regardless of the type of business it does and the degree to which its central business idea has been developed.
Before you begin creating your business pitch model, you’ll need to focus on:
- Who you’re directing your presentation to – Who’s my audience?
- What are the objectives of this pitch are – What do I want to achieve with this presentation?
- How this presentation will be given – Will I present it in person or will I be sending it over email? Will I use audiovisual components?
Asking yourself these three questions is key, given that they will decide what kind of pitch you create. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all model for a pitch. Instead, your pitch’s structure and content will depend fundamentally on how you answer the three questions.
To start diving into the world of pitches or business presentations, we’ll start by describing the most commonly used types of pitches.
Types of Pitches:
For when you need to present your business idea quickly before a specialized group of judges or investors or even just to your FFF (Family, Friends and Fools).
This kind of pitch is characterized by a total duration a duration of 3 to 5 minutes. You won’t always have visual material when giving it, so we recommend you create a script and tell a story that moves your audience to take action. The structure is simple and as Simon Sinek tells us in his Golden Circle model:
- Start with what inspires you, with the why of what you do.
- Then, you can talk about how you do it.
- And finally, explain what you do.
Pitch Deck or Pitch for Investors
You’ll also find what’s called a Pitch Deck, which has the objective of presenting a business idea to add investors to your project as partners or to attract investment. This type of pitch is a business presentation of about 15-20 slides.
In this case, the visual components will be crucial so that you can communicate your idea clearly and in a way that motivates your viewers. They are especially essential given that you will send this presentation time and time again to potential clients, investors, accelerators or incubators, innovation programs, etc.
Some tips for your pitch deck are:
- Prepare the visual components you are going to use,
- Review Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle to use as a guide,
- Show that there’s value in what you’re doing and proposing.
- Don’t forget to clearly present who your potential clients are, what the problem you’re solving is and what solution you’re proposing.
If your goal is to sell your product or service to one or more clients, it’s time to create a sales pitch.
You should keep in mind your possible client’s goals, problems and needs when designing your presentation to offer them solutions. To do so, along with introducing them to your business, don’t forget to:
- Appeal to emotions
- Tell a story
- Highlight success case,
- Introduce Call-To-Actions that you can follow up on.
Here, visual components will be key for getting the attention of your leads.
Bonus: Tweet Pitch
We live in the era of concise communication. If we’re already counting characters, why not measure our spoken communication as well?
The Twitter or Tweet Pitch is a short presentation that you can use when starting any of the kinds of pitches mentioned above, but it should be able to stand alone as well. Try saying in one or two phrases why you do what you do, how you do it and what it is you do. Do you accept the challenge?
How to make your next business pitch?
It is essential to remember that what you are looking for with the perfect pitch is to attract the interest of your audience and not to bore them with each and every one of the details that have to do with your company. We want them to wish to know more and for this you should condense the information you are going to offer them in a maximum of 10 slides, so you will focus on the basics. You can do this with an online presentation programme.
Below we explain to you what information each slide should contain to make a pitch with which you will succeed in front of your potential investors.
Include the company name, your name, address, email, and phone number.
2. Problem / Opportunity
Describe the pain point your product will relieve or the problem it will resolve.
3. Value proposition
Explain the value of the pain you relieve, the problem you resolve, or the pleasure you bring.
4. Underlying magic
Describe the technology, secret sauce, or magic behind your product. The less text and the more graphics, diagrams, and flowcharts, the better. If you have a prototype or sample, now is the time to show it.
“If a photograph is better than 1,000 words, a prototype is better than 10,000 slides.”
Glen Shires of Google
5. Business model
Clarify who currently has your money in their pocket and how you’re going to make it yours.
6. Market plan
Explain how you’re going to reach your audience without going broke.
7. Competitive analysis
Provide a comprehensive view of the competitive landscape. In this case, too much info is better than too little.
8. Team & management
List the key members of your team, board of directors and advisors, as well as your investors. It’s okay if you don’t have the perfect team. If your team was perfect, you wouldn’t need to be giving the presentation.
9. Financial projections & KPIs
Show three years of projections, not only monetary but also key metrics such as audience size and conversion rate. Do it in descending order rather than ascending.
Explain the current status of your product in a timeline, what the future looks like, and how you will use the money to grow.
From experience: 8 mistakes to avoid
Now that you’re made the effort to gather the best information and turn it into a spectacular presentation, you don’t want to ruin it by making an avoidable mistake.
Luis García, Genially’s CMO, has made a list of some common mistakes to avoid. He has a lot of experience creating and presenting pitch decks. Thanks to his tips, you can learn about and avoid the most common mistakes.
- Putting too much text on the slides. Summarize your message, include only the essential words. Otherwise, your audience will be reading instead of listening to you. And you shouldn’t be reading the slides either! It’s much better if you can convey each idea visually.
- Including too much information, not knowing how to focus on a clear message. You can’t say everything about your company. It’s crucial that you arrange your information in order of importance and highlight the most important messages.
- Assuming people understand all the information. In other words, being so “inside the box” that you’re not able to clearly explain your business because you take for granted that your audience is familiar with certain concepts when they may not be.
- Not adjusting the message to the channel or audience. Don’t make the mistake of using the same presentation for all occasions. Your pitch deck cannot have the same structure you would use to present it if you are going to send it by email. And you may need to present your pitch deck to different audiences – presenting it at an entrepreneurial competition isn’t the same as presenting it to a group of investors. Adjust your message to improve the outcome!
- Not being transparent and convincing with metrics and explanations when finished. This can destroy a great pitch.
- Having a bad ending. Some people end their pitch by saying something such as, “And yeah, that’s it,” which ruins the effect of the entire presentation. Often people flip to the final slide too early, and this also creates a bad effect.
- Not including a clear call to action. This is a very common mistake and enough to derail all your efforts. What do you want to get from your audience? Making it clear is the first step in getting it done. Make sure you don’t leave the meeting without a call to action.
- Not keeping track of time. It’s also a common mistake to spend too much time on the first few slides and then be forced to skip information or omit important points on later slides. Almost all pitch decks have a set amount of time allowed. Practice as much as necessary until your speech is fluid, complete – and perfectly timed!
Add interactive content in your next pitch
As we’ve seen, there are many different kinds of pitches, and little by little more types will emerge. If we had to summarize the general objective of a pitch, we’d say it’s “to move to action”, and you’ll only be able to get your audience to take action if you are able to get their attention in the first seconds of your Twitter Pitch.
Then, you’ll need to follow that up by achieving and maintaining the WoW effect throughout your presentation.