You just gave the perfect pitch.
Everything went well. You remembered your text, you paid attention to your body language. You can proudly go home.
That’s not the case. You are not done yet.
Your pitch is almost always followed by questions and answers, also called the Q&A. Sometimes the Q&A is scheduled, sometimes people just have questions which they can’t wait to ask you.
At first sight this might be a bummer, since I understand that you’d like to go home and enjoy a moment of relaxation.
However, after reading this chapter you’ll understand that the Q&A is actually good for you.
The Q&A is an extension of your pitch. It gives you more time to make your listener excited about your idea or company.
Prepare for the Q&A
While you are in the preparation phase, you should reserve some time to prepare the Q&A. You start off with writing down every possible question you could get. Let’s take it step by step:
- Take a new text document and write down all possible questions you can think off
- Demonstrate your pitch to a few friends or colleagues and have them write down some questions as well.
- By now you should have at least 30 questions written down
Formulate focus points
When you are done writing your questions, it’s time to think about what you want to talk about. It’s nice that your listener wants you to elaborate on something, but that doesn’t mean you can’t include other things in your answers as well.
This trick is used by many politicians. The journalist asks about A, but the politician talks about B. They do this because they have much more interest in talking about B instead of A.
They are taking their time to ‘pitch’ their preferred subject.
Well of course we are not going to behave like politicians, but we will use some of their strategies. Let’s take it step by step:
- Take a new text document and write down a few topics which are really positive about your idea of company. Take your unique selling points.
- Write down why you unique selling points are so nice and how they can benefit the listener.
Now it’s time for the magic part of this strategy.
Combine the questions with your focus points
- Go back to the list of possible questions and prepare an answer for each one of them.
- For every question, use one or more focus points and blend them in.
- Study your Q&A and make sure you have a positive answer for everything
Many pitchers have hard times during the Q&A part of their pitch. This is usually because they skipped the research part, or they just didn’t prepare their Q&A at all.
During the Q&A it’s your job to extend your pitch. Take the opportunity to make your listener excited about your idea or company.
Give the listener an answer to his question, but always elaborate it with your unique selling points.
What you learned
- How to prepare for difficult questions after your pitch
- How to use the Q&A in your advantage
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