The basis of Perfect Pitch and all my coaching is the following 10 Questions that every pitch should answer. Answer each with information that is interesting to the audience in 140 words or less, and you have the basis for a great 10-minute pitch.
|Question||Associated Business Issues|
|0. Who is your audience?||Know your audience to pitch effectively|
|1. Why should I, the audience, care?||Market size and market pain|
|2. What do you do?||Secret sauce|
|3. Why will you win?||Competitive advantage|
|4. How will you stay better?||IP status and strategy|
|5. Does it work?||Tech status and strategy|
|6. How will you make money?||Business model|
|7. How much will you make?||Financial projections|
|8. Why you?||Team|
|9. What will you do?||Development plan|
|10. How much will it cost?||The ask|
But not easy.
If you are a do-it-yourself type, use the form at right to use the Pitch-O-Matic. It will walk you through the 10 Questions via a series of 2-minute videos.
If you want more help, sign up for a free half-hour consult, and if you are really pressed for time, let's schedule a 2-hour pitch coaching session.
The origin of the 10 Questions
Since 2005, I have coached hundreds and hundreds of entrepreneurs on pitching, primarily (but not always) inventors trying to gain investment for their high tech innovations.
Most of their pitches were confusing, overloaded with detail, and a mess in terms of presentation materials.
While it was possible to extract the value proposition through Q&A, these entrepreneurs were at a distinct disadvantage in terms of attracting investment. Perhaps worse, they could not earn respect as the head of their own company.
Why is it so difficult to pitch well?
After all, there are hundreds of pitch templates available online along with mountains of advice. Furthermore, pitching is not rocket science, even if your innovation is.
And yet, most pitches fail in their fundamental goal: engaging the audience.
The first problem is that most pitching tips and tools are focused on systematic ways to present content.
Don't get me wrong - content is critical! You must have a compelling value proposition. But your audience is even more important.
The second problem is that most advice that does emphasize the audience fails to provide a system for incorporating the content.
Perfect Pitch: Tune the content for the ears of the audience
As a businesswoman, I like things simple and straightforward.
As a scientist,* I like systems and analysis.
As a person, I love to engage people and bring them together.
I combined these three strengths and developed Perfect Pitch: A simple system for incorporating critical content while building an engaging story about the entrepreneur's value proposition. Or, more simply, a way to tune a pitch for the ears of a specific audience.
The final problem is that it is very, very difficult to coach your own pitch, even for me. You're too close to the details and too familiar with the value proposition. Not to mention the fact that you are too busy to focus on it until a deadline looms.
That's where I come in: I can help you at any level. Just need to get help structuring your pitch script and slides? Schedule a 2-hour one-on-one coaching session. Need more? Sign up for full pitch development after the initial coaching session, and get the full deck and script created for you, plus a polishing session to make sure it works for you.
If you are on a budget, then sign up for a one-day Perfect Pitch workshop or the 13-week online Turbo-Mentoring course.
Best of luck and success with your venture!
Linda S. Plano, PhD
* PhD Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University; BS Physics MIT