Make a Great First “Pitchpression”

What every entrepreneur needs to know:

Before any big presentation, many an entrepreneur take a great amount of time preparing for the pitch and making sure they will say the right things but hardly does it ever play out a per the prep stage. One of the main reasons for this is they are so engrossed on selling a perfect product, that they seem to always overlook the age old adage “Presentation is everything and content is King”.

We recently held interviews at the Nailab for the Season 4 entrepreneur’s intake. Much as we have done this 3 years in a row, it has been interesting to note that most entrepreneurs keep making the same mistakes with the pitches they make. So we sat and put together a few pointers that could be helpful to entrepreneurs that are making that initial pitch:

  1. Overcome the Nerves: The truth that no one tells you- the audience is as nervous as you are. So how do we get everyone comfortable? Its always easier to start your pitch with an ease question, joke or statement: This gets everyone’s attention, helps you ease into your element and and most importantly shows that you are willing to engage with your audience all through. However one needs to be very careful because you never get a second chance to make that much needed first impression. The joke/ statement/ question should be related to the the context of your pitch and if the audience relates you strike Gold :).
  2. Engage: Once you have their attention its always key to capitalise on it in the shortest time possible. Remember the audience have no idea what you are here to pitch, neither have they interacted with the solution before so pitch from a basic point of view and keep it relevant to them. Your introduction question should be one that helps you gauge their level of interaction/need for the solution.Always remember to keep it short and sweet (KISS) and you will definitely make and impression.

    Remember the more relevant the information, the clearer the idea.

  3. Help Them Visualise: Its always advisable to use visuals when presenting. This not only breaks the monotony of your presentation but it also helps multiply your audience’s level of understanding and recall. Remember the good old days when teachers used maize and beans or colourful artifacts to help us with our arithmetic and alphabet? Same theory applies in presentations. Visual aids help add impact and interest to a presentation. Always remember the visual aid has to be completely relevant or you just might lose the plot.
  4. Grand Closure: Always end with a statement of purpose. In most cases, what you say last is always remembered most. Take 3 key points that you want as the “Key take out” and use this opportunity to drive them home one more time. And remember let the last statement be “Actionable”

By Beverly Mbeke