Welcome back! We hope you enjoyed part one of our four- part series on the seven secrets to winning a pitch competition. In this section we’ll dive deep into understanding your business economics, and tackling the idea of how to convey a compelling story.
2. Know your Business Economics:
The second tip is to make sure that you know your business inside and out. If you don’t, you’ll face the possibility of being called out and eaten alive by some of the judges. This one is crucial; because it separates the serious contenders from those who have not thought about all facets of their business. If you cannot answer questions about your sales cycle or customer acquisition strategy, judges will immediately overlook your company.
Before pitching it is essential to look at your business from all angles and understand your strategies for sales, marketing, operations, etc. If you do not have the answers currently in place, then you better be able to talk about what you would do if you had more capital to work with. You should know everyone’s role on your team, and where your capital is going in your business.
Being able to convince judges that they would get a major return on investment is the main objective of pitch competitions. Introduce your story, how you got here, and the results that you have gotten so far. If you show proper growth trajectory, then you must illustrate where your company could go with more capital to work with.
Try This: Look at commonly asked questions by judges at different pitch competitions so that you can get an idea of what types of questions to expect from judges.
3. Tell A Compelling Story About the Problem and Unique Solution
The third tip to winning a pitch competition is to keep your audience engaged and focused. In today’s world, more and more people have shorter attention spans, so it is absolutely necessary to get the audience on your side from the start.
We’ve seen countless pitches where it is really hard and distracting to focus on both the speaker and the slides behind them. The reason is because it is hard for people to read long slides while listening to what you are saying simultaneously. Your attention will be divided, so to avoid this you must have the audience focused on you. People may ask, well isn’t the point to have my information on the screen for people to read? No! You should be the guide for your pitch, so you want your presentation to be balanced in both what you are saying and what is on screen.
In order to achieve this equilibrium have slides that back up your points. The audience should be solely focused on what you are saying, but the slides will provide proof to back up what you are saying. Another thing to remember is to not have too much writing on a slide. Put your revenues/profits in big and bold writing, while having graphics that show market potential. Graphs, photos, videos, are always useful in getting a point across quickly. Just make sure to not over do it with your use of helpful tools, because it can take the focus away from you.
This concludes part two of our four-part series. Hopefully now you understand the opportunity you have right in front of you as a business owner. Please join us next time as the series looks at how to share your business success and how to make a sufficient ask from the panel of judges or investors.