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How to Pitch an Idea

Pitching an idea is a task easier said than done. You might have thousands of thoughts running through your mind about the Do’s and Don’ts of this simple yet game-changing element, which would affect the future of your business. Here is a carefully crafted guide for you to follow and pitch your idea in the best possible manner.

It’s more about you and less about your business idea.

Before preparing for any such event, you must keep in mind that the investors are more concerned about you and your personality so you must focus on preparing yourself  not just your idea.

Step One: Do your research

Prior to making your presentation, you must do your homework. Your idea might have been executed by someone, somewhere across the globe, in some kind of way, so you must be aware of what is happening around the world that might be related to your field or industry.

Step Two: Know the required skills

People, who are listening to your pitch, are the ones who have been through this process hundreds of times, and they have invested in people who performed well on the list of skills they require. Let’s take a quick look on that list.

  • Integrity

Do you have the traits of honesty, uprightness, morality or truthfulness?

  • Passion

Are you passionate enough about what you are doing?

  • Knowledge

Do you have a comprehensive idea of the industry, the competition and the obstacles you might face?

  • Skills

Are you skilled enough to pursue such a task?

  • Leadership

Are you capable enough of becoming a leader who can take his team along and reach the set goals?

  • Commitment

Are you just here at this particular platform to earn some sort of prize money or are you committed enough to carry this idea with you for a lifetime?

  • Vision

Do you have the required wisdom and imagination to plan a future?

  • Realism

Yes, your idea might seem capable enough to change this world forever, but we all know that changing the world is not such a trivial matter, in short, are you realistic enough?

  • Coach-ability

A lot of people can come up with amazing ideas but are you ready to listen to your mentors? Do you have the patience required to accept when you are wrong and absorb the advice of your coach?

Step Three: Prepare your presentation
After analyzing your personality in the first 2-3 minutes, the judges are all set to go through your presentation, which has to be carefully timed. They don’t have all day for you, so in your 15-20 minutes of the presentation, you have to do the job. Keep in mind that after around 18 minutes the audience starts to lose interest in whatever you have to say. Following are the components of a good presentation:
  1. Company Logo
  2. Business Overview
  3. Management Team
  4. Market Analysis
  5. Product
  6. Business Model

Start with your company logo and give an overview of your business in a few words. Do mention your team, as we all know that businesses are not created alone. Be well aware of your market, and about what your product does and who it serves. In the end, give the listeners an idea about your Business model, preferably in a diagrammatic form.

Step Four: Follow Their Perspective

The judges in front of you are interested in knowing the following important parts of your business.

  1. Strategic Relationships (Your special relationships with suppliers and distributors, if any)
  2. Competition(Competitors already existing and ones that might pop-up in the future)
  3. Barriers to Entry(Obstacles while entering the market)
  4. Financial Overview (Statistics of what you have achieved so far)
  5. Use of Proceeds
  6. Capital and Valuation (Your source of money, may it be your family or other investors)
Step Five: Keep in mind the Don’ts

Finally, these little factors would count a lot at the end of the day.

  • Don’t use the computer/laptop keyboard
  • Handouts are NOT your presentation
  • Don’t read your speech
  • Never look at the screen
  • No paragraphs on the slides, bullet points only

Yes, you are very nervous and that is nothing to be worried about. Just be yourself and see what luck has in store for you.

Good luck.

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─ April 12, 2016