Five tips to nail your pitch

The Badass Women’s Hour, an award winning radio show and podcast reflecting the conversations women have over drinks or across the dinner table, have taken over Stylist Live’s blog to give you five amazing tips on how to nail the perfect pitch.

So you’ve had THE idea! The one that’s going to take you out of your boring job and launch your career into the stratosphere. You’ve come up with a catchy name, done a deep dive on all your competitors and put an order in for some new business cards. Now all you need are some customers. And some investment. And a bit of publicity. Now is the time when you have to stop just telling yourself about the idea and actually tell other people, it’s time to pitch.

Dragon’s Den and The Apprentice might have given the world Reggae Reggae sauce and… er… Alan Sugar, but they’ve done nothing for how to pitch. Both shows promote a “win at all costs” attitude to pitching that is inevitably more geared to entertainment than reality. If you really want your pitch to stand out you’re better off leaving the can can dancers and absurd promises at home and going with these five tips instead.

Know your worth

Really, really know it. So yes, know what your company is making now, what the value of the market is and have a clear idea of how you’re going to bring that money in but also know what your time is worth and how much you bring to the situation. If you don’t know your own value you’re not going to be able to articulate it to anyone else and you’ll end up either rejected or with a bad deal.

It’s OK to say no

Don’t take a bad deal, it’s as simple as that. If you’re asking for investment from people that you don’t like in the meeting you’re really not going to like working with them when their money is in your company and they feel they have a right to tell you what to do. Look for the relationship first, then look at what they’re offering and then make your decision. There will always be more offers out there so don’t feel panicked into accepting the first thing that comes along.

Sassy slides

A picture speaks a thousand words so please, please, please don’t put a thousand words on a slide, you really don’t need them. A slide deck that people can take away and be reminded of the key points of your presentation is good, a slide deck that people are too busy staring at to listen to your pitch is bad. The deck should be your key stats and the facts that you want your audience to be repeating after you’ve left the room. Then use the colours and pictures you use to give them a clear idea of your brand. But please, no powerpoint essays.

The “so what?” filter

Practice makes perfect but when you’re practicing use that time to analyse your pitch. Run each thing you say through the “so what?” filter. If you don’t know why you’re saying it or what it adds to the presentation then your audience definitely won’t, so either take it out or make it punchier.

You’ll get through this

If you can believe in yourself, even if only for the duration of the pitch, then others are more likely to believe in you too. So do some power posing beforehand, ask a friend to give you a pep talk on how brilliant you are, or simply remind yourself of how far you’ve come. And if all that fails, remember, no pitch has ever resulted in death (as far as we know) so be brave, be bold and be badass.

Badass Women’s Hour on Pitch Please: How to sell your ideas

Thrive Studio – 16:30 – 17:10 – Friday 9 November