Top 10 Tips for a Winning Pitch

by: David McDermott

10 crucial tips for delivering a winning pitch.


IT consulting jobs
1. “Hook” your audience
Make your audience want to listen by giving a strong hook at the beginning.
Active listening is hard work and without the motivation to listen, your audience will switch on and off randomly.
Here are some examples of hooks:
Opportunity: to make money or grow their business
Fear factor: the consequences of not taking action
Killer fact: 80 of problems occur due to miscalculation. This product guarantees accuracy.
Engaging rhetorical question: “Before you think about relaxing in the sun when you retire, ask yourself this key question, will you be able to afford it?”
2. Show enthusiasm for winning the business
Showing you are keen to win the business is viewed positively, so tell your audience you are very excited about the prospect of working with them.
It is often the case that when there is very little to differentiate presenting teams that the audience select the team who “really wanted the business”.
3. Give relevant information only
In terms of content the biggest mistake presenters make is “information dump”.
Successful presenters are selective about the facts and information they present, sticking to the most important and relevant for their audience.
4. Use the “you” factor
It is important that you make your content relevant. Therefore, the word “you” should be used throughout. This way you can state benefits very clearly and demonstrate that you understand the audience’s issues and problems.
5. Give examples for credibility
There is no point telling your audience you are innovative or experienced unless you can prove it. So, use relevant examples to back up your case.
6. Be clear about your USPs
Your USPs are your unique selling points. Areas where you add value over and above your competitors. It is important your audience knows how you stack up against the competition. But avoid naming your competitors in your pitch.
7. Use rhetorical questions to engage
Rhetorical questions are very powerful as they make your audience think about your proposition. They can also be used to emphasise your USP’s for example: “Given the ratings of our analysts, who else could put over a more credible story to the investment community?”
8. Deliver enthusiastically
Make sure your body language is open and use your hands to make gestures supporting your content. Vary the pace and pitch of your voice and scan everyone in the audience.
9. Put strap lines on visuals
These are key messages along the foot of your visuals. You should have three key strap lines, which are your three key messages, your three strongest reasons for being appointed.
That way your audience take in the messages using two senses instead of one.
10. Anticipate questions and prepare answers
Many business pitches fail in the question and answer session, especially when a team is pitching. Therefore, it is vital you anticipate questions and prepare the answers, deciding who will answer each question.

Author Details

David McDermott