Richard Branson- The Art of Pitching
The art of pitching
One of the best things about hearing business pitches is that there is
always a new idea and a new way of looking at things. I hear a huge
number of pitches in a wide variety of places – we even had a pitching
session while cycling in South Africa recently. But the most impressive
pitches all have a few things in common. Here are five simple
similarities shared by all successful pitches:
- They explain how the new business will make a difference
to customers and provide a compelling alternative to competitors. This
means showing a new way of doing things to shake up the market, and
explaining it in short, sharp, entertaining fashion.
- They are grounded in expert knowledge of the industry.
If you are going to launch anything - a new social network, a new bank,
a new fashion line – you need to demonstrate a solid understanding of
the market and how you can disrupt it.
- They have a realistic plan.
While high concepts are fine, pitches need to illustrate how a company
could work practically. This means legal, financial and operational
plans. It’s tough to include details in a short presentation, but the
most engaging pitches manage to combine passion with pragmatism.
- They are in it for the long haul.
Nothing stays the same, and business changes faster than most things.
Pitches latching on to the flavour of the month are all well and good,
but they need to communicate how the business could grow sustainably and
develop in the future.
- They show their strongest hand.
Pitching is all about selling your idea and your business as an
exciting place to be. Highlight the strengths – especially the talented
people who are working on the project – and don’t be afraid to talk up
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