How to Plan a Successful Business Pitch
Delivering a pitch for your business is one of the most nerve-wracking things that anyone can do in their line of work.
The combination of public speaking, memory retention, and improvisation can be a toxic combination for some, particularly if public speaking is not a strong suit. Indeed, more than half of workers in the UK have avoided applying for positions due to public speaking being a factor.
But in many cases, pitching is a necessary part of the role – and a vital way to expand a growing business. If you find yourself tasked with making a presentation, how should you think about planning for success?
Understand Your Audience
A good pitch understands its audience well. Even within a single business, there is an ecosystem of departments and teams with different understandings of a given field, and different vocabularies entirely. You should ensure your pitch is attuned to the vocabulary of your audience. For example, a deep dive into finances might not go over well with a sales and marketing team, while emphatic language might mean little to technical officers. Understanding your audience enables you to communicate effectively with them.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Preparation is essential to success with your business pitch and extends far beyond simply understanding its content and context. Indeed, we will touch upon the content of your pitch more directly shortly – but in the meantime, we are concerned with the importance of your arrangements both before and during your pitch.
For one, punctuality is key. If you are travelling from the north to present in London, for example, you would be better placed organising a serviced apartment in London and travelling down to it the day before. This ensures you are in the city and able to make your appointment irrespective of last-minute transport delays, and also gives you a neat and professional space from which to present remotely should that need arise.
You should also devote some time to thinking about the technology on which you will be relying for your pitch. Make sure any presentation materials and supplementary data are backed up on a separate drive, and that you have spare battery packs to charge your devices on the move.
The Details of Your Pitch
Whatever the specific nature of your pitch, it will likely contain a lot of bespoke information vital to your proposal – information you should understand back-to-front. Here, the value of rehearsal becomes all the clearer. Run your pitch alone over and over again to get an intuitive feel for it, and then run it to a partner or colleague. You could ask them to quiz you on specific details to ensure you have both the content and context of your brief down.
As one final point, it can be all too easy to get lost in the details of your project or proposal. A compulsion to divulge as much as you can in service of a positive outcome can lead to a pitch that is dense with information, or even overlong. Concision is much more conducive to your aims here; your pitch should be short, sweet, and straight to the point, with visual aids to help create an understanding of more complex ideas. Without this, your messaging could be unclear, and your pitch unsuccessful.