Want to improve your pitch? Our Community Support Officer, Viola Träm, has taken a look at the latest techniques to help you present yourself, and your business, in the best way possible.

Once upon a time an aspiring entrepreneur, let’s call him Marc, was sent away by the secretary of the CEO when trying to pitch his newest business idea. On his way out Marc was joined by said CEO on his ride down in the elevator. 30 seconds later the CEO walks away with all the information that she needs to follow up with Marc about his fascinating idea. Sound familiar?

When we think about pitching, the first word that comes to mind is “elevator”. The reasoning behind telling every aspiring entrepreneur to be able to do a pitch within a 30 second elevator ride is that they need to learn how to succinctly present their business idea under pressure. So far so good.

But in a world that is overloaded with information, e-mails, twitter feeds and text messages, you will need to do more than just be clear and precise when selling your idea.  So what are the newest techniques you can employ to improve your pitch today?

1. Be open about your flaws

Most often than not investors invest in a person. This means that as part of your pitch you need to convince the investor that you are worth investing in, too. What better way to show them that you are a smart business person by pointing out the current flaws of your idea – and maybe even offer a solution? It shows them that you are a realistic and well-rounded business man or women and not a naive wanna-be entrepreneur.

But more importantly: you take away most of the critical comments that potential investors can throw at you during the Q&A at the end. You have already anticipated their concerns and taken them into account. When investors have to think hard about further critical points to make, chances are that they have to focus on the good aspects of your idea.

2) Make them feel

During one of my first days at the Hub I met Sophie, an enthusiastic entrepreneur looking to start a sustainable catering company. I have tasted her food. It is great. I have read her business plan. It is inspiring and solid. But the single most important reason why I would recommend her is the feeling I get when she talks about her ideas: I feel like I am part of something good, something worthwhile and that I am doing well by being part of it.

I don’t need all the facts. Facts are great and you will need them later when the investors are hooked on your idea and decide how much money to put down. But the only reason why they will look at the facts is if they have an emotional connection to you and the product/ service that you are creating. So don’t overuse facts in your presentation. Even the people with loads of money have feelings. Appeal to those and you are more than half-way there!

3) The Rhyming Pitch

Science has proven that we perceive statements that rhyme as containing more truth and that we also remember them better compared to simple statements. Let’s try that again: Pitches that rhyme are more sublime. Simple, right?

Pink, professor at Wharton, recommends rhymes as a powerful tool to make pitches more effective. It helps people remember why you came to them and what you want. While I would never suggest that you deliver an entire pitch in rhyme, it is worth remembering this for opening or closing arguments. What do you want the investors to remember about you? What do you want them to know? A catchy rhyme at the end might just be what you need to make your message stick.

So these are my top tips this week for you to improve your pitching. Why don’t you give them a try at our next Pitch Club? Friday 5th August 2016 @ 5.30 pm. Message community@hubwestminster.net if you would like to participate. Members only.