Most of the time I hear consultants, self-proclaimed business experts talk about how to make more money, grow your business ect ect. But they don’t even mention the word pitch or pitching. They certainly don’t teach you how to do it, and how to structure it.
But most of all I get annoyed when I accept a connection request from someone on LinkedIn. 90% of the time I know they are going to immediately pitch to me and this is where I realise that a vast amount of business owners or employees of larger firms just simply cannot pitch.
If you can’t pitch, I won’t listen, simple. If you can’t explain what you do in two sentences with clarity I won’t listen. If you’re not credible, I won’t listen. I won’t even begin to read the endless lines of text you have written and I have moved on.
However, if you get it right, if you can articulate what you do, your credible, I will listen to your pitch and probably remember you.
Good pitches stand out from the crowd amongst all the bad pitches and get doors opened all of the time. So take the time, to prepare and remember your pitch, and it’s an easy way to get noticed.
Writing the pitch is often the beginning, and having ‘pitch architecture’s important to ensure it flows. There are several ways you can put this together but it’s important certain parts of your pitch are up front. For example, you need to up front articulate who you are, what it is you do, and that your credible. If you fail at this stage, you will lose your audience and they won’t engage.
So being able to explain this in simple language, for anyone to understand, not my name is Desmond and I specialise in bio-chemistry and help companies advance their programmes to create better products. I’m like whaaaaaattttttttttttt. What do you do? So being able to explain in layman’s terms what you do, is important, because If I don’t get it, I won’t listen.
The Structure tends to not change but the length may vary, so you could be doing a 30 sec pitch, 5 mins or 45 mins pitch and you would just expand each section. Which is why when the pitch is shorter you have to be even clearer with the words you use.
Lots of businesses don’t train there staff well enough and the consistency in the pitch delivery varies. The pitch should not depend on who delivers it. Staff members may have varying styles but the message and overall content should be the same. But often what’s over looked is that in all of the marketing materials from web copy to emails, to sale brochures, there should be some consistency in all these medium which echo the pitch you ultimately deliver.
But one of the most important factors is practicing. Once you have written a pitch you need to practice it. Now you can do this at home, in front of the mirror and get word perfect, but this won’t prepare you when you’re delivering it in a real life scenario. So a great way is go to some networking events, and you might get to pitch 20 times in a 2hrs window. It’s low key, relatively informal and a great way to get feedback.