What makes a good pitch? Ricky Yu
This week, I wanted to talk about something else besides my competition and finance course, but still something that is related to what I am studying. What makes a good business pitch? Is it the idea itself? The presentation? The talking? There are multiple parts that have to click well together in a business plan or a proposal, and I will tell you shortly today what makes a good business pitch.
Number one: The idea. If you have a truly breakthrough idea, you have more than half of what you need for a good pitch. A great idea can cover up for most of the flaws that you have in your plan, because an investor will be able to recognize revolution when he/she sees it. Now, this does not mean that your idea has to be something entirely new that nobody has ever even thought of or done. It certainly can be, but it also can be a much cheaper and efficient way to produce something that already exists, or a major improvement in an already existing product. Nowadays, a socially responsible aspect to a product is also a great addition, since the business industry is moving towards social entrepreneurship.
Number two: The powerpoint. Now, we all know from 7th grade that it’s not good to put too much text on a powerpoint slide, but what else is there to making a great powerpoint? Firstly, slide titles. At the Leadership in the Business World program I attended over the summer, the students at the Wharton School of Business told me that Wharton recommends putting full sentences as slide titles, for the advantage of having clarity and directness. Next is the roadmap. Every powerpoint should have a roadmap, so that investors and possible future shareholders can easily keep track of what you are talking to them about. A roadmap usually takes the form of a slide right after the title slide, and a small bar under every slide keeping track of which section of the presentation you are on. Another great element of a business powerpoint is using graphs and charts that deliver quick and necessary information easily. They draw the attention of the audience, and immediately increases the credibility of the information you are presenting.
Last but not least, the talking. You could have a fantastic powerpoint and an amazingly innovative idea with you, but what you say could put all of that down the drain by boring the investors or offending them. The first part of your speaking that you need to be aware of is your tone. You have to be clear and enthusiastic, because the investors often look for great ideas, but more often are looking for great people to invest in. The second element is repetition. Avoid having repetition in your presentation, unless it is used in the right place at the right time to emphasize something you want to get across to the audience. Another factor is your stance and position. The Wharton school of Business recommends utilizing the power triangle, where you move in a triangle shape standing on the left or right side of the powerpoint slide, coming to the top of the triangle when emphasizing something, and staying on the other points at other times. You have to show, through your body language, that you are enthusiastic and know what you are doing in order to make a positive impact on the investors, which means that you will have to have an open and confident stance, reduce fidgeting to a minimum and constantly make eye contact with your audience.