Wednesday, April 3, 2013

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 your prospects.

Source: Richard Branson

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