5 Strategies to Help You Pitch Ideas Like a Pro
So you’ve got a great opportunity to pitch some of your ideas to your boss, or maybe you’re pitching a proposal to a company for your next big deal at work. Either way, pitching ideas in person can be rather stressful, so we’ve put together some strategies to help you to put your best foot forward and blow your competition out of the water!
1. Do your homework
If you’re going to pitch anything to anyone, you need to make sure you do your homework in advance. Is your pitch addressing a problem or pain point of a particular client or market? If so, delve into the problem and do your research. Crunch the numbers, research the trends, gather the evidence and think through your idea comprehensively so you are absolutely crystal clear about what it is your pitching and why it’s amazing.
2. Cost-benefit analysis
Cost-benefit doesn’t mean your idea has to be cheap. Plenty of companies are prepared to pay big for quality ideas, but quite simply, in business it all comes down to two things – cost and benefits. Whoever you’re pitching your idea to will need to see the value in it, so before your pitch, brainstorm and research with the aim to identify where your idea falls on the cost-benefit continuum. Then continue to refine your idea to ensure that it provides enough perceived value so that you can approach your pitch armed with confidence.
3. Think like the person or people you’re pitching ideas to
The trick to pitching and sales in general is to think like the customer, client or person you’re trying to persuade to take on your idea. What’s in it for them? How is your idea going to change their life or business? And, what questions are they thinking about right now?
4. Be confident in your approach
In order for your pitch to have the desired effect, you need to speak both confidently and authoritatively. You are a multi-skilled, highly knowledgeable person of many talents, but if you’re not confident in what you’re saying, then who is really going to take your pitch seriously? Being a little nervous is completely normal, but keep the nerves at bay by rehearsing your pitch several times, staying hydrated before and during the pitch, preparing some back up cue cards to prompt you if needed, and create a handout which can help to take all of the focus off you.
5. Read your audience and adjust your approach accordingly
Part of being a great presenter and pitching your ideas effectively involves being able to read your audience. Make eye contact, look at the facial expressions and body language of the people you are presenting to and make your own assessment as to whether your pitch is hitting the mark. If you think you need to adjust your pitch accordingly, do so. If you’re unsure if your audience is fully understanding your proposal, check in to see if there are any questions or elaborate with further details to achieve a better understanding.
What do you think?
What do you do to prepare yourself for a pitch or presentation? Do you have any other ideas to add to the list? Join the discussion and comment below to share your views.
This article was written by Ellenor Day-Lutz on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.