How to build a structured pitch?

A good pitch has a clear structure.

A good structure helps you to keep the listener on the edge of his seat right from the beginning, straight to the end.

You open the pitch with a shocking opening, followed by the problem and the solution.

Then it’s time explain how you generate revenue with the business model, why your team is able to do this and lastly you ask the listener to do something in your call to action.

I

There are 3 ways to start your pitch:

  1. A personal story
  2. A question
  3. A Bold statement

These methods are explained in detail in this article.

 

 

II Problem

 

After you opened your pitch, it’s time to present the problem to your listener. During this part your only goal is to make the listener feel the problem.

 

You should describe it in such a way that your listener experiences the pain of the problem.

 

A good problem explanation usually is done in one or two sentences. After you explained the problem, you mention the type of people who experience this problem on a regular basis. An example:

 

‘A bad pitch can have an enormous on our lives. The difference between a good pitch and a bad pitch could be a successful company or a bankruptcy. Many entrepreneurs, consultants and even CEO’s face the consequences of bad pitches every day’.

 

 

 

III Solution

 

During the solution part you explain your solution to the problem you described earlier. This is the moment where it’s your job to make listener excited.

You should describe the solution in such a way that the listener sees the opportunity and starts believing in your idea.

 

A good solution explanation should be described in one sentence if possible. You want to make it as easy as possible for your listener to spread the word about your solution to others.

 

After you mentioned how you will solve the problem with your solution, you explain the extra benefits of your solution in a few sentences. An example:

 

‘To help entrepreneurs pitch their way into an investment I’ve developed a comprehensive video course on pitching. Not only do these videos explain how to pitch, they also help to create an investor pitch deck and negotiate the investment terms.’

 

IV Business model

 

During the Business model part of your pitch you explain how you are planning to generate revenue. In this part it’s your job to convince the listener of the financial opportunities of your idea.

 

The listener must get the feeling that there is a possibility of a serious financial advantages if he becomes part of your idea.

 

During this part you mention the following numbers:

 

  • Retail price of your product/service
  • Potential customers in your area
  • Potential revenue (retail price * potential customers)

A few things to keep in mind:

 

  • When doing your calculations, make sure you don’t estimate too high. It must be realistic
  • When you mention your numbers, make sure to have them appear on your PowerPoint/Keynote presentation. Remembering multiple numbers usually is quite difficult if you don’t see them visually. Make sure to not overkill your listener with lots of numbers, just the key numbers will do.

An example:

 

‘The price of the pitching course is $399 dollars. With over 55.000 entrepreneurs in this country our market value equals $21.945.000’. Our research shows that over 60% of these entrepreneurs are highly interested in a pitching course.

 

 

V Team

 

So you made the listener excited about your idea and the possibilities. Now it’s time to show him why you are the right person to execute it.

 

If you are in team, this is the moment to mention the achievements you and your team achieved in the past.

 

The classic mistake many pitchers make is that they start of their pitch by calling out the names of their team members.

Although it’s a nice gesture to give credits to your team members, mentioning names is not very appealing to your listener.

 

Avoid mentioning a list of names, but rather focus on mentioning a list of achievements you and your team members completed. This way you show to your listener that there is a capable team behind the idea.

In this part you can also talk about your motivation to make this idea a success, preferably backed up by intrinsically reasons.

 

A few things to keep in mind:

 

  • Experience or achievements in the same industry are valuable. Focus on those.
  • Mentioning names of big companies where your team members worked in the past works good as well.

 

An example:

 

‘I have pitched over 300 times in the past two years. My colleague entrepreneurs who helped developing this course have experience in pitching and course development. Maarten, our writer was a professor at a big university for over 15 years. Our team is full of experience.’

 

 

VI Call to action

 

The call to action is the second most important part of your pitch (right after your opening).

During this part you tell your listener what you want him to do. Do you want him to invest? To partner up? To make a deal?

 

Be clear about your call to action and focus on only one. Research shows that mentioning multiple call to actions reduces the success of your call to action.

During your call to action it’s important to be as precise as possible about what you want from your listener.

Don’t be scared to ask what you want, what’s the worst that can happen? A few examples:

 

‘Become part of the club and download the Restoranto app’

 

‘Benefit from our generous first investment round and invest $150.000 for 15% of our shares’

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

For some situations you will have to delete or adjust one of the building blocks. If you are pitching for a charity organization who is looking for donations, you might want to replace the business model with an overview of how you distribute the donation.

 

Every great pitch has a clear structure. Usually you start with your opening, followed by the problem, the solution, the business model, your team and a call to action.

 

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