Try 3 Techniques to Improve Your Business Pitch

by Melissa Burns

Mastering a wide range of techniques to deliver a business pitch is something every entrepreneur must do before they even start. I remember going through all the trials of fund-gathering for starting my own company and the heartbreak of seeing that your meticulous business plan fails to impress investors. By trial and error, I learned which types of presentations work out under which circumstances, and I’m happy to share some of these tips with you.

Top 3 Techniques to Deliver a Business Pitch

1.      Data Storytelling

The business world of today runs on hard data. It doesn’t matter what industry you specialize in, no one will listen to you if you don’t offer some solid backing to your claims, ideas, or arguments.

Data storytelling is my favorite because it’s both most fun and most effective.

Data is the proof you need to persuade and impress investors, colleagues, or even your college professors. However, despite their importance and ability to impress, numbers don’t make a good pitch.

The main reason to learn data storytelling is that it will give you the ability to translate impressive, but dry numbers into a story that will truly affect your listeners. The combination of a good story with a solid background of evidence that you are absolutely right is the formula for a perfect business pitch. At least, this is what my experience tell me.

There really are no downsides to this particular technique. Even if you are still starting and the story around the numbers is wobbly, the data itself will help tide you over.

2.      Takashi Method

The Takashi method is a type of presentation that uses very few words, written in huge fonts and a lot of single-picture slides. I use it for the situations when I need to establish an emotional connection with the audience. It’s a great tool for cheering up the team or trying to ‘sell’ a new expansion idea to investors.

The trick is to use simple words, preferably 2-3, and make them strengthen the impact of the message supported by pictures.

Combine this with a good pitch text and time the slides just right to boost the message you are presenting to the board.

Note that the Takashi presentation method prompts the audience to listen to you because they can’t just get the summary from slides. Therefore, you must make your pitch-speech as attractive as possible. However, try to keep it simple so as not to confuse the audience.

3.      Lessig Method

I strongly believe that the Lessig method can rate as one of the best techniques to deliver a business pitch if you use it right. Like a Takashi presentation, this involves showing slides with one short, simple message.

The method was created by a college professor, and I believe he based it off flash-cards revision technique every student knows.

The idea is the same, you flash some picture or fact and offer short elaboration about it, before moving on to the next.

Usually, I rely on Lessig-style presentations when dealing with reports, because they are flashy and make an impression on the audience. For pitches that aim to gain something for my business, such as extra funding from investors, I combine this presentation technique with data storytelling. This simply translates to creating a story around flashing charts and diagrams.

Deliver a Business Pitch to Impress

From what I’ve seen and tried personally in my career as an entrepreneur I can say that no two business presentations are the same. There are many factors that affect how the audience will react to your pitch, and most of them are out of your control. What you can control is your knowledge, preparation, and presentation skills.

The best thing you can do is to create a presentation-pitch with a clear focus and even clearer message. Opt for simplicity, hard facts, and numbers that persuade.

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Melissa Burns is an education blogger, and a new teacher. Studying in Columbia University inspired her to dedicate her life to teaching. Today she  is passionately interested in informatics, writing, and educational activism. She has already visited 38 countries and is planning to travel around the globe. Follow her @melissaburns or contact at burns.melissaa@gmail.com

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