Concluding this workshop series are some tips on pitching your validated intraprenuerial idea to upper management. When preparing to pitch, give yourself plenty of planning and preparation time. Aim to blow your audience away, not make them wish they could get those 30 minutes of their life back again.
You’ve done the work and you’re clear on the strategic direction of your organisation. You’ve gotten your approvals to explore and validate your idea, spoken to users, worked out your business model, organised your legals and most importantly, you have created your minimum viable product. It is Crunch Time.
Don’t just send an email, take another leaf out of a start-up’s book and prepare to present.
Here are the four essential steps on how to deliver a killer pitch.
1. Be clear on what outcome you want
Start with the end in mind and plan what you want to happen. Do you need more time, resources, cash, or permission to partner? Or do you just need the green light to roll out your new product, service or process? Whatever it is – your pitch should provide the foundation for making the desired outcome a no-brainer. Be realistic, be honest, and be hopeful.
2. Don’t leave them wondering
Have you ever been to a presentation where you are halfway through it and you still have no idea what product they are talking about or what problem it will solve? I’ve been to some where even at the end I have no idea what is going on! Make sure you have a one sentence explanation which answers both those questions and say it at the beginning, in the middle and at the end. Try it out on your friends, family and colleagues. Do they get it in one sentence? If not, keep refining it until they do.
3. The all-important WIIFM (What’s In It For Me)
You know what you want and how you’ll benefit, but your pitch needs to illustrate what is in it for your organisation and their stakeholders. You need it to appeal to their needs. Keep the key decision maker/s at the forefront of your mind the whole time you are planning what to present. Show your passion for the project, but make it all about them. So – just to be clear, say it with me “It is not about me, it is all about them”.
4. Tell A Story
Research shows that our minds engage differently when we are hearing a story as opposed to being shown research (don’t just take my word on it – Google it. It’s pretty interesting reading!). If you’re very clever, you can present facts and figures in a narrative form and draw your audience in. Ignite the imagination! Hook them in with a good tale that evokes emotion and awakens the senses. Some of the best pitches incorporate story-telling techniques; characters, conflict, visuals – even heroes!
In summation, preparing for a pitch should be a well-planned exercise and can be a creative and fun process. Just make sure you have the solid information to answer the most basic of questions your organisation will have, after all, you are opening yourself up to discussion.
If you need some more direction in this area, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love hear some of your experiences either in listening to or presenting a pitch – what made an impact on you, and what techniques did not work?
I’m also @emmabeames and would love to engage with you on Twitter!