If you follow NLOWE on Twitter, you may have noticed our #nlowetips hashtag. A few times a week, we send out #nlowetips tweets to provide you with advice we have picked up either from attending professional development events, or from listening to the women business owners we have met along the way. Recently, we tweeted the following #nlowetip: “Remember the Cs when delivering your business pitch: clear, concise, conversational, and confident. #nlowetips”
Before we dig in a little further on this, let’s backtrack a little. Did you attend the 2014 NLOWE Conference? (Or, as we call it on Twitter, the #nloweconf.) If you did, you might remember that we held our inaugural edition of the Pitch Competition. The Pitch featured three selected women entrepreneurs chosen from a number of video submissions, who then delivered their pitches on stage at the NLOWE Conference in St. John’s. After they presented their pitches, conference delegates chose the winner. Whether or not you remember the Pitch Competition, we have some good news for you today: we will be hosting the second edition of the Pitch Competition at the 2015 #nloweconf in Corner Brook!
To get you ready and prepared for this competition, here is some advice on crafting and delivering the perfect pitch.
- Be CLEAR – When delivering a pitch, you need to make sure you leave no basic questions unanswered: who you are, what your business is named, where you are located, who you sell to, and what you sell. It’s important to clearly describe how your business operates without getting too confusing, and without rambling.
- Be CONCISE – Since a good pitch is delivered within 15-30 seconds, and you’re expected to include a lot of information (see above), you have to make every single word count. When you’re coming up with your best pitch, try a few draft pitches, and then take the best, most concise sentences and add them to your final. By practicing your pitch in advance, you will learn what terms come naturally to you, and what phrases you are comfortable in saying. It’s also important to remember that not everyone you meet will be an expert in your field of business – try to avoid jargon or terms used specifically within your industry, and instead, use words that everyone can understand and relate to.
- Be CONVERSATIONAL – A good sales pitch will leave your audience wanting to know even more about you and your business. Adding a tip, a fact, or a “did you know” somewhere in your pitch can lead to a conversation when you’ve finished your delivery. Conversational pitches are great for networking events. They serve as an icebreaker and a potential conversation continuer as well.
- Be CONFIDENT – This may be the most important piece when it comes to the delivery of your pitch. Confidence is key! Make eye contact. Stand up straight and tall. Don’t fold or cross your arms; instead, open up your body and use your hands when you speak. Enunciate your words. Speak clearly. These are all ways to convey your confidence to your listeners.
A sales pitch is a great tool to have in your business arsenal. Having a well-rehearsed and customized sales pitch in your back pocket is a great way to introduce yourself in any situation where you would need to describe your business, and it’s a great way to boost your confidence in settings where you might feel uncomfortable. At NLOWE, we often hear our clients and members say that they dislike networking events because they are too shy or they are not fans of small talk. With your pitch ready to go, you already have your ice breaker, and if you phrase your pitch in the right way, you’ll also be in charge of the conversation going forward, and you can steer it in whichever direction you please.
If you are interested in participating in the NLOWE Pitch Competition 2015, visit www.nlowe.org/thepitch for more details on submission requirements and important deadlines.
NLOWE Advisors are well-trained in the art of perfecting the pitch, so please don’t hesitate to contact your advisor if you would like some help crafting yours today!