Thanks to shows like Shark Tank, business pitching is currently in something of a cultural golden era. Across the county, entrepreneurs participate in pitch competitions, delivering their most powerful appeals for funding in the form of a 100 minute, two minute, and even 30 second pitches. In a way that was unthinkable only a few years ago, pitching has become a “sexy” topic.
What’s more interesting to me, however, is that the sudden growth in interest around this fundamental entrepreneurial skill. The ability to effectively pitch your business or startup concept in any setting, over any span of time, and to any audience, is an ability every founder should actively hone. In fact, it’s an incredibly useful skill even outside the context of courting investors.
Effectively communicating your business concepts to others is absolutely essential to your success as an entrepreneur. If you can tell your story well, you are far more likely to be able to raise money, attract top talent, win great customers, build a killer brand, and, ultimately, be profitable.
At a deep level, pitching is really just another form of storytelling. If you can succinctly and compellingly make your case for funding to an investor, you also have many of the tools you need to ace a tough job interview, create a great sales presentation, or persuade lawmakers to consider your perspectives on policy. Mastering the pitch allows you to capture your audience’s attention, and makes them want to learn more about what you have to say.
The recent spike in interest around the art of the business pitch has also created a problem. What works in the context of a highly edited network TV show or networking event dressed up as a pitch competition isn’t always a good reflection of an effective real-world pitch. Now that pitching is “sexy,” there has also been a boom in self-proclaimed experts in the art of the business pitch. The result has been an explosion of guides, tips and advice from people with widely varying levels of insight and experience, and it’s not always easy to sort the good stuff from the bad.
If you really want to master the practice of pitching your business ideas, picking up a few tips and tricks isn’t the solution. You need a strong understanding of the underlying framework every great pitch uses. Getting to these core concepts means starting with the best kinds of business power pitches, and deconstructing them to see how they work.
Every day in my work as a business coach, I interact with businesses that are struggling to tell their story in a concise and compelling way. My experiences have helped me build a simple, step-by-step process for demystifying business pitches. By using these techniques, any entrepreneur can learn to tell their story in a way that will resonate with any audience.
In this series of posts, I’ll be breaking down the business power pitch into its fundamental elements. I’ll start with a high-level overview of the core concepts used to constructed a great pitch, and then move on to a deeper exploration of each of these specific elements. Together, we’ll explore every facet of this topic, going into deep detail as needed.
As a true believer in the power of a great pitch, I’m excited about this series. My goal is for this to serve as a primary reference for both entrepreneurs looking to land some startup cash, and as a starting point for anyone who wants to master the art of making a persuasive, compelling case for the things they believe in.