As a founder, you never know when the opportunity will arise for you to pitch your idea. Every pitch is essentially an audition. Your pitch is the single thing that can either get your business off the ground or plunge your idea into eternal oblivion. These are some steps on how to research, craft and present a winning pitch to both investors and customers.

Get to the point fast. Don’t waste time with preamble. The last time your picture takes the better. Give them an overview of your compelling proposition. Make it quick and brief. You’re more likely to capture and hold your listeners attention at the crucial start of your pitch with that.

Explain exactly what your product or service is. Show your potential investors a picture or give them the actual product to handle. Even if your product is not yet built, show mock ups. It’s amazing what a visual representation of your product and your business can do for the overall effectiveness of your pitch.

Establish the need. Explain the exact uniqueness of your product or service one of your questions that goes through your listeners mind when they set out to listen to you is what problem are you trying to solve? Convince them that there’s a need. Give them a definite, brief comprehensive statement of the problem with an example or two illustrating the need. Then follow up with your solution to address the need.

Explain exactly who you are target audience is. Use demographic and psychographics features to pinpoint your customers. Show investors a picture of a customer along with relevant data points.

Explain exactly how you intend to acquire these customers. Business success comes down to marketing. If you have a marketing idea, method, technique or process this is your chance to showcase it. Great products don’t sell themselves; You sell the product. To be persuaded investors have to see an airtight strategy for getting the product to the market.

Be wildly enthusiastic. A good technique for increasing your energy level is to add about 50% more energy than you feel comfortable with. Wild enthusiasm will not obscure your sophistication, insights, integrity and realism. It will only enhance it.

Talk about yourself. It’s important to know that investors invest in people first, and ideas second. Let the investors see why you are the right person to lead this venture.

State who your competition is. Show them how what your pitching is better and different than what your competitors are offering.

Anticipate questions and answer them ahead of time. If an investor is interested, he or she would ask more questions. Be ready for those questions. By formulating skillful and persuasive answers to the tough questions, you demonstrate deep panoply of abilities and traits that investors love to see.

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