The reality of life is, no matter how good your idea is, if the pitch is a flop then there is a chance no one will approve it. If the investors do not buy your story or are not moved by it then they conclude that the customers will not buy it either. A great pitch can even sell a subpar product or idea. Pitching a proposal especially face to face is about delivery. It is about the then and now. So how do you go about it?
Confidence is key when pitching proposals. At this point, you are a salesman convincing customers to buy your product. You have to inspire confidence in your idea or product. You have to be able to move people with your words. Motivate them to buy what you are selling. However, it is important to inspire confidence with facts and not fiction. Do not sell fantasies because then, nobody will take you seriously. Let the investors see what your idea can become with facts.
All this will require you to exhibit a great deal of confidence in your idea. If you are confident and sell it that way, then people will very likely follow suit.
Deliver an experience, not a speech
We cannot deny that some people have the ability to deliver captivating speeches. However, if speech delivery is not your forte, you might want to avoid long speeches. They may do more harm than good. You may have 5 minutes to pitch your idea and you do not want to spend them boring the heck out of someone. Share a story that pertains to your idea. You can use samples to make the experience more real. Capture the attention of your audience.
Use the stories to demonstrate the viability of your idea. Prove to your investors how your product is required in the market and the steps you are willing to take to get it there.
Do your homework
There is nothing as bad as not knowing the product you are pitching extensively. Nobody should know more about it more than you do. By the time you pitch it, you more know about it than anyone else in that room. You have done extensive research on the product, the market you want to sell it in and competing products. If an investor asks a question about the product, being caught off guard is not a good look.
Pitching is more than just delivering information. It is about understanding what people want and how your brand can service their needs. That is how you sell it. It is about branding your idea or product in a way no one can refute. Doing your homework also means knowing whom you are pitching your idea to. Find out what your investors are likely to buy into, what they are known for buying into and use it to your advantage.
Be brief and concise
The name elevator pitch was coined due to the increase of entrepreneurs who ambushed investors in elevators after failure to procure appointments with them. It is used to describe that a pitch should be detailed but short because one had only a few minutes before the elevator ride was over to pitch a worth-while idea. Do not flood your powerpoint presentation with jargon or a bunch of financial data and graphs. Use the information that is necessary. Use clear and concise points which elaborate your idea.
Pitching an idea or product is like performing a short skit. You need to have rehearsed prior to doing so. Know where you will start, how you will carry on and how you will end. You may have the knowledge but going unprepared can cause your mind to be all over the place thus your presentation may lack coherent flow. However, ensure that your presentation is not too rigid like it was over-rehearsed. You do not want to seem like a robot programmed to read a few powerpoint notes.
Not so confident about your public speaking skills? Here are a few tips – The art of public speaking