The Art of the Perfect Pitch

Coming up with an idea that’s a total game changer, a monumental innovation, a gizmo or service that makes the world a better place — that should be the most difficult element of entrepreneurship, amiright? Not so, for many of us. The better mousetrap’s a manifestation of thinking differently (wahoo!); the challenge is communicating that thinking to others (boo). 

Which is why your pitch is of paramount importance.

So what makes for a perfect pitch? It definitely must be understandable, generally should be brief, ideally is bespoke — it’s many things to different audiences. And, idea aside, a truly great pitch reflects the pitcher. When asked for the ‘secret sauce’, Canberra Innovation Network CEO Petr Adamek says, “Our message is quite simple: be yourself and talk in a way that’s authentic to you”.  

In addition to keeping it simple and true to yourself, review your spiel with the following criteria in mind, refine, and you’ve got a winner once all the boxes are ticked.

Technical jargon and industry buzzwords are dead weight in a pitch, where brevity is key. Ditch the superfluous language and ensure your audience is able to understand the idea itself — not the process by which it comes together. 

Are you talking about your idea to the right people? Your pitch will only land if it’s potentially useful to those you’re talking to. Attend a First Wednesday Connect as an audience member and you’ll get a feel for the investors, innovators and researchers who might be keen to listen (and help!). 

Public speaking is famously scary, but it doesn’t have to be if you truly believe in your subject matter. Because if you don’t believe in your innovation, no one else will. Find chutzpah in your dedication to the success of your sprocket and you won’t need to bother picturing your audience starkers.

Before launching into your pitch imagine a stage mum pinching your cheeks and loudly singing “ENERGY! ENERGY!! ENERGY!!!” in your face. Because an audience picks up on a performer’s emotions (and in this case, dear reader, you’re the one on stage). 

A Solution
The all-important ‘why’ in your ‘who, what, where, when and why’ story is how your innovation solves an audience problem. And if you can’t clearly articulate your idea as a customer solution, you aren’t ready to take it to the next level.

A Roadmap
A good pitch should include next steps. “And now I’m looking for funding in order to …” or “And now I’m producing a prototype for …” or “And next I’d like to go global by implementing …” If you’ve captured their attention from the start, your audience will naturally want to hear about what’s next, and know that you, the custodian of this great idea, are thinking about everything to see it succeed. 

Finally? Practice. On brothers-in-law, baristas and bartenders. And hone your pitch through programs and workshops.

You’ve got this!

Learn more: Facing the pitch! and Is your business idea pitch ready?