IrishStartUp.TV's Top Tips for Perfect Pitching.

This post has been specifically written with the new IrishStartUpTV pitch arena in mind but it is also equally relevant to all instances of pitching to a generic audience.  We are specifically looking for startups to share brief pitches tailored to gain encourage engagement from potential users, customers, investors and other collaborators.  A well delivered, brief and entertaining pitch will always ensure best chance of a successful reception.

When approaching any pitch, try and think about pitching in terms of telling a story.  What makes a great story?  Structure, delivery and great content!  Story telling structure typically has the core elements of a beginning, middle and end.  When constructing content think about Kipling’s five friends, who, what, why, where, when and how.  For delivery, start by becoming aware of the range of your voice, tonality and timing.  Think about your favourite story teller, perhaps an actor from Film or TV and try and break down what makes them such a great orator!

Pitching to a new audience for the first time - what type of content should I include?

Take a step back and think, how would I describe what I do to a stranger I meet at an airport.  Could I share my startup's story in a way that someone from anywhere in the world could easily understand?  As much as some of us may not like to admit, if you're trying to pitch a startup you are in sales.  If you’re serious about what you're doing then you're also ‘in sales’ in a global market - thinking this way could make everyone you meet either a potential collaborator, customer or even evangelist.  Putting these ideas into context you’re pitch should most definitely include answers to the following questions:

1. Who are you?

2. What do you do?

3. How are you different?

4. What do you need?

  (e.g. i.e. users, customers, investors, mentors)

5. How can people find you?

How can I start to craft these soundbites in a way that can be best delivered?

Start by writing out all the key words and phrases onto a blank sheet of paper.  Next start to place these soundbites in the order set out above.  Next critically evaluate what you have written:

  • Am I being sufficiently clear to ensure that literally anyone could understand what I’m saying?
  • What key words are most relevant to the message I am trying to construct?
  • Could what I have written be shortened further?

Next have a practice in front of a mirror and when you are ready either film yourself using a smartphone or laptop with a high quality built in webcam.  Use the video to learn what's working and well about your delivery and also to highlight the areas that need work.  

Think about your voice, tonality and timing when delivering your pitch.  See also our post 'How To Pitch 'To Camera' for techniques and technology to use to record your pitches.  If you feel that you really need help with the preparation and/or delivery elements of your pitch then please do get in touch so that we can arrange a Skype 'pitch coaching' session to help you out.  Please note that a small fee will apply for that service.  

We can’t wait to share your story with our community so do get involved today - what are you you waiting for?!