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Pitch-Perfect: Your ultimate guide to nailing the art of the business pitch

The pitch is the tale of your product and your company. And whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned pro, there’s always room for fine-tuning your pitch. Here’s a guide of what to consider. You can also find these videos helping you at the Accelerator for Enterprising Women.

THE HOOK

Before you begin, you’ll want to start with a friendly greeting. People are more likely to help you when they like you. With that out of the way, you should brainstorm a catchy tagline that packs a punch. Think of it like an opening line in a blockbuster movie:

“The biggest change to making sandwiches since sliced bread.”

“Our product can be used over 100 different ways, seriously.”

“This is an idea Jeff Bezos wishes he’d had.”

Don’t you feel the urge to hear more? That’s the secret – hooking your audience right from the get-go.

THE PROBLEM

Every new business or entrepreneurial idea seeks to solve a problem, sometimes referred to as a ‘pain point’. You need to outline yours well to convince your audience your idea has merit. Include facts, data or statistics if you have them to make your idea more compelling. If your audience understands the problem, they’ll be more inclined to back the solution. And remember, pause for dramatic effect – let your words sink in.

THE SOLUTION

Now that you have their attention, unveil your solution. Explain how it works, share testing results and back up your claims with evidence. This could be stories, videos or statistics to drive your point home.

KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER

Time to introduce us to your target market. Get specific with gender, age, demographics, interests – maybe even their income. How do you communicate with them? What are their media consumption habits? Do they tune into the news, hang out on social media, or spot ads on buses? And, for some extra credit, detail your customer acquisition cost.

UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION (USP)

You’ll hear a lot of acronyms among the start-up and entrepreneur community, and USP is one that matters. What sets your business apart? Why is your idea better, cheaper, more effective than the competition – and there is always competition. Your USP could hold the key to unlocking your first investment, deal or partnership.

BUSINESS MODEL

A solid business model is important to show how your business will operate and make money. It covers things like the basic cost of your product or business, what it will cost your customers, where your revenue streams will come from and whether you’re planning a single source of income or multiple revenue streams. Even if you’re not there yet, investors will want to know you’re thinking about these things.

THE JOURNEY

Don’t be shy – list your accomplishments and expertise. Let them see that you’re the kind of go-getter who’s ready to roll up their sleeves and get things done. Share your vision for the future. How do you plan to scale your business and who’s on your dream team?

THE ASK or CALL TO ACTION

This is one of the most important bits of the pitch. What is it you need to take that crucial next step? In other words, what are you pitching for? It may be seed funding, a partner or some media coverage to get word out about your brilliant product or service. Don’t be shy, know exactly what it is you want, and ask for it with confidence.

WRAP IT UP

Wrap it up by thanking your audience for their precious time and offering ways to stay in touch. Hand out those business cards, encourage them to follow you on social media, or share your contact number.

CHANGE IT UP

It is important to have different versions, or iterations of your pitch. After all, you won’t always be presenting before a group of interested potential customers or funders. You may bump into them at a networking event or be part of a panel where you’re called on to give a brief, impromptu rundown of your business idea. You’ll want to know your key messaging and what is crucial to convey, even briefly. It’s your so-called ‘elevator pitch’. Be prepared to deliver it smoothly and easily no matter what the circumstances or length of time.

PRESENTATION

Now you have your perfect pitch, we have some tips and tricks to help you deliver it for maximum impact.

PRACTICE

We can’t emphasise enough how important this is. Practice practice practice! Practice in front of the mirror, practice with your dog, your best friend, your worst enemy, a business mentor, a trusted colleague. Ask them if they have questions, and be prepared to answer them. Also consider what would be the hardest or more awkward questions you hope you’re never asked and plan for those too. There is no quicker way to trigger nerves than being under-prepared.

WARM UP

Some people love addressing a crowd but let’s face it, most of us don’t. Pitching your idea to just one person, or a roomful of people, can be nerve-wracking. So before you begin your pitch make sure you’re warmed up and ready. Do some vocal exercises, physically shake out the nerves, get some fresh air before you go in, and don’t forget to breathe. After all, deep breaths are proven to calm the nervous system. And positive self talk works. Don’t take our word for it, try it yourself.

MEMORISE

If you can commit your pitch to memory and deliver it naturally, it’s an added bonus. It means you can hold your audience’s gaze rather than look down at notes, and deliver your pitch with confidence.

PRESENTATION

If you can commit your pitch to memory and deliver it naturally, it’s an added bonus. It means you can hold your audience’s gaze rather than look down at notes, and deliver your pitch with confidence.

Imposter syndrome can be a pesky companion, but it doesn’t have to define your journey as a female founder. The Sydney Female Founder Festival panelists generously shared their wisdom on combating this common challenge. Remember Anaita’s advice to just do it anyway and embrace your fabulous self. Follow Tanya’s lead by shifting the focus to others and making meaningful connections. And don’t be afraid to take a page from Angelique’s book and seek external validation through self-nomination for awards. Whatever works for you, don’t forget the power of believing in yourself.

A person with long blonde hair in a ponytail, wearing a blue top, is speaking in front of a colorful backdrop. The backdrop features the text "EMPOWERING WOMEN" and has a large white letter "W" on a teal and orange background, inspiring business ideas for women to excel in starting a business.

Some more tips: