This is the 2nd part of my 10 unconventional tips to improve your pitch. In Part 1, I talked about :
#1 Start With The Why
#2 Mediocrity (decreases over time)
#3 ABP (Always Be Pitching)
In this new post, I will unveil 3 additional tips (if you missed Part 1/3 go back here)
#4 : Know Your Audience
Now that you spent hours writing your pitch; that you are mentally ready; that you know your lines and they all remarkably fit in a flashcard: you are determined to pitch for the first time. Congratulations, you can now duplicate it according to the various audiences and ask yourself why you are pitching. Are you pitching to recruit a co-founder? Are you pitching to seal a partnership? Are you pitching to secure seed capital? A pitch can yield many outcomes. If the audience is having a hard time framing your problem/solution, don’t blame them; you probably didn’t do your homework.
Gathering feedback is key, since it feeds your iteration process. However, feedback may not always be valuable. Some, even if they understand your pitch, may just not be into your cause or have passionate reactions. Don’t leave people unchanged! Try to polarize the audience. Some people will stand out of the crowd and share (good or bad) relevant reactions — the enthusiasts will probably be part of your customer segment later.
#5 : Which Stage Are You At?
First time entrepreneurs are often dazzled by startup funding stories. Sadly, this seduces more than one to become an web (intra)entrepreneur. It seems so easy to launch a product and raise millions, right? If some drop out college, why can’t I? Have you never asked yourself that question?
Truth is, it’s way more complicated than that. There is a time to pitch for funding and it only comes later, once you have reached the product/market fit. Want-to-be entrepreneurs dream about becoming millionaires, being the CEO of their company and totally forget about solving a problem first. Most of the entrepreneurs I have met dropped their projects once they have realized the amount of work to be done; their egocentric dream can’t sustain their will to progress.
I highly recommend the book “Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Work” by Ash Maurya. If like me, you come from the Business Plan Age, that book will help you to reset your system and learn new methods much more suitable to today’s digital economy. In the past, we used to apply a top-down approach (e.g. including market analysis, micro-segmentations etc.) whereas, today, a bottom-up approach is more relevant. If you are just starting your project, your main focus will be to fully understand the problem you are trying to solve: that’s your first job. Pitching should serve that aim.
#6 : Tell Your Story
Ever wondered who are the best storytellers? I will give you a hint. You have probably listened to their stories a dozen of times on a Sunday afternoon while having tea. Yes, grandparents. They are telling stories they actually lived — that’s consumer experience, and probably told them hundred of times — that’s practicing your pitch.
To fully understand the consumer’s pain and not leaving an audience unchanged, it’s important to experience the problem as well. It’s the only way to quickly develop empathy and touch your audience. Do you think your potential consumers will trust you based on your pitch if you have never faced the same issue as them? Except if you are an extremely good storyteller, there are few chances you will win their heart. If your business idea doesn’t come from your personal experience, get out of the building, spend some times with the assumed consumers, develop empathy skills and increase your trust capital.
Thanks for reading! Next week I will unveil the last 4 tips and extra links.
Until then, take care 🙂