How to present and pitch your business

Entrepreneur presenting and pitching business
Presenting your business is not limited to standing in front of an audience or group of investors. As entrepreneurs and business owners we pitch our businesses in many ways.

The 60 second business pitch or presentation

How do you answer the question, “What does your business do?”

This is the most important question you need to answer, but let’s take it a step further. How long do you take to answer this question?

Here are a few tips on how to answer this question:

  • Learn how to answer this question in less than 60 seconds
  • Introduce yourself and your business
  • Talk about how your business solves a problem
  • Try not to use the word “we” focus more the client

A good example: “Hi my name is Jay the founder of (Business Name), you know how difficult it is to clean your expensive Sneakers without ruining them? Well we solve that problem with a professional shoe cleaning service that collects, cleans and delivers clean fresh sneakers to your doorstep or office. To make it even easier you can order our services using our online app or WhatsApp”.

A not so good example: “Hi my name is Jay the founder of (Business Name), in 1996 I founded (Business Name) we are a B-BBEE level 1 company and pride ourselves on becoming a leader in the shoe cleaning industry. Our values are trust, integrity, perseverance and we passionate about customer service. There are many challenges in the industry, but we have a plan to increase our market share over the next 3 years.  Since 1996 we have created three new jobs and would like to grow our business and create more jobs in the future”. …………………………………………………………….

The first example has already grabbed the attention of the listener because they know exactly who you are and what you do in under 1 minute.

Visit the J29 Business Simplified website for a sample of business pitch which will give you an idea of how to prepare a one-page business pitch. This is a simple 60 second business pitch, however there is a wide variety of business pitches which you may be requested to do.

The formal presentation or pitch

Maybe you have been requested to do presentation of your products or services to a potential client. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your next presentation;

Planning the presentation

  • Research the audience
  • What are their roles in the company?
  • How many minutes will you have to do your presentation including time for questions?
  • Decide on the number of slides (pitch deck) you need to keep within your time limit
  • Title each slide of the presentation and prepare the first draft
  • Use your first slide to immediately capture the attention of the audience
  • Presentation slides should follow a logical sequence
  • Include clear points and not long not paragraphs in your presentation slides
  • Include clear graphics, page numbers and your company branding
  • Prepare a list of 20 questions you may receive from the audience
  • Include your company contact details on the last slide of the presentation
  • Practice doing your presentation to the point where you do not need your slides to remember the content

Presenting to the audience

  • Avoid handing out slides to the audience before the presentation, this may distract attention while you are presenting. Try to hand out slides or pitch deck after the presentation is completed.
  • Try to be at the venue one hour before starting to test the equipment and familiarize yourself with the surroundings to feel more comfortable
  • Keep a back-up copy of your presentation on a memory stick and Cloud storage
  • The opening slide is the most important make a positive impact or arouse curiosity with the opening slide
  • Stay calm and focused during the presentation remember to vary your tone of voice to accommodate your audience
  • Keep your focus on your presentation do not focus on unexpected distractions
  • Be prepared for questions, more importantly plan how you will respond especially to questions that you cannot answer immediately (can I get your contact details and respond tomorrow with the information you need?)

After the presentation

  • End your presentation with a call to action
  • Take time to talk to the audience individually after the presentation remember you are trying to secure new business so be approachable
  • Make sure you have answered all the questions
  • Request a follow up meeting if you need to discuss additional details
  • The points listed above will help you through the process of preparing and delivering a professional presentation.  However, it is important to remember your content should be clear and concise ensuring you have included the information the audience needs.

How is your business presented online?

In most cases you may not have a one-on-one conversation or have an opportunity to do a formal presentation. This does not stop potential clients from doing a Google search on your business.

Business websites and social media platforms are the first point of contact for most people. Before and after your business is requested to do a presentation or pitch to a client, they have probably done an online search of your business.

Think of your business website and social media platforms as an online presentation or pitch.  Keeping your business message consistent online, face to face and in presentations is important. Consistency in your company branding and offerings help increase the credibility of your business.

The most important point to remember, not all clients will meet you face to face but they can interact with your business in different ways.  Make sure your business is presented professionally on all platforms, online and offline.

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