Boots are being laced; socks are taped; shorts tied. Suddenly the hubbub of the changing room fades to silence and all eyes are on you. This is the time to sell your vision. How are you going to win this game? How can you claw back a losing scoreline? What’s the big idea, and how can you convince the doubters?
We may not all regularly have to inspire a team of athletes but more than likely in your professional life you will need to sell an idea to people. It could be investors, shareholders, your boss, or simply the rest of your team.
Of course, every idea is different and there is no recipe for the right business pitch. But here are a few points that I think should be integrated to take your pitch from filler to killer.
1. Show some passion
First and foremost, make sure you show passion for the topic. Share how the idea arose and the journey it has been on. It is usually these personal stories that are remembered the most. If, behind the business model, there is a story that describes the exciting moment when the idea was hit upon, this is much more credible and convincing than a few statistics. Boom!
2. Be unique
Investors or top management will not put their money or time into something that has already been done before. It is therefore important to point out in the presentation that the idea is unique. But don’t forget to have the information to back it up.
3. Figures, data and facts
Hard facts also need to be included. Investors don’t just want the idea, they also want to know how many potential customers exist and why they will buy the product. Support your argument with extra information: how many customers buy alternatives? What costs might potential customers face if they do not buy the idea? This visualizes the market potential for investors and helps show if the investment is worthwhile.
4. The brains behind the idea
Don’t forget the people behind the idea. If you are leading a team then give your workmates their dues as it will show you have strength in depth. This does not mean presenting the full CVs of everyone right down to the person who makes the coffee. It is much better to highlight key players and list three of their top skills that have already been proven and put to the test.
5. Practice Makes Perfect
Practice and perfect the presentation, not just on your own in front of your laptop but under authentic conditions – out loud and to time. Deliver it to your lover, your mother, your dog, and then? Practice again! And again!