We’re not talking baseball. People like Jack Dorsey (Twitter) and Sir Richard Branson (Virgin) are great pitchers. They know how to pitch ideas to investors in a compelling and inspiring manner – and it started before they had money, staff or expensive jets.
Pitching ideas is a science. That’s good news for you! Why? Science can be taught and learned. Art is instinctive (unless you’re painting by the numbers).
I recently spoke to a group of technical professionals about how to pitch their ideas to venture capitalists, angel investors and intellectual property lawyers. To pitch your ideas in a compelling manner to Mark Cuban (Shark Tank) or Guy Kawaski, remember this:
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- K.I.S.S. – Keep it Short and Simple. No one walks out of a presentation saying, “I wish the presenter could have spoken longer.” Don’t try and talk above their heads. You want the audience to: understand and remember your pitch. Respect their time and they will respect you (i.e. – stay).
- It’s About Them – Benefits and solutions first. Let the audience know how your device benefits THEM. Clearly state the solution in a way that will tell them what problem you are solving. Swiss Army Knives have lots of features. Tell them firsthow the magnifying glass is going to help them in the woods.
- Three Pitches – Have a 30 second, 2 minute and 15 minute presentation ready. 30 seconds is your elevator pitch to make them want more. 2 minutes is a casual discussion over drinks. When God smiles on you and you get 15 minutes, be ready with the data and visual aids.
Describe how an expensive pen is the key to a better life. It will make you look prepared. It will make you look smarter and more stylish. That style leads to a larger network of rich friends with more money. Don’t describe the color contrasts of the black ink. Your new rich friends won’t care.
The difference is in the details, and if they want the details, the audience will ask.
Scientifically Speaking, of course.
Next Week: Presentations Must – Laptop or iPad?