A to Z of Business Storytelling: Pitch
Our “A to Z of Business Storytelling” builds on our last topic, “O: Organized.” Did you miss it? Click here before reading on.
Getting organized is an important step to take before making your pitch. Once you’ve mastered how to organize your brand message in your content calendar, you can more easily summarize your story succinctly in a powerful pitch.
But before you begin, let’s debunk some long-standing misconceptions. These are the three we tend to see most often:
Misconception #1: A great business owner should be able to whip up a pitch on the fly.
Give yourself some grace by giving your pitch the attention it deserves. Of course you should be able to talk about your business easily. But without a plan, you’re sure to take awhile to get to the point of your brand story. Your audience – whether it is a customer or potential investor – doesn’t have time to listen to you drag on about unimportant details. They want a straightforward summary, which requires a clear vision of your business mission.
The difference between an inspiring story and a boring business pitch is based on the amount of preparation you put in. Let’s start with this (seemingly) simple exercise. Answer each of the following questions in one sentence:
Who are you?
What do you do?
Why are you the best?
What do you want your audience to do?
Seriously, grab a pen. But remember: less is more.
Misconception #2: A pitch should include “just the facts.”
A succinct summary should be straightforward, but connecting emotionally is just as important as getting to your point efficiently. Your audience wants to hear what you and your business can do for them and why you’re doing it, beyond what a general business definition provides.
Share tangible stories to leverage the typical human tendency to react emotionally. Rational logic tends to come secondary. This is your time to not-so-humble brag over your successes, your teams’ strength, and superiority over competitors. When available, share a real-life customer story.
No matter if you’re just starting out or have been a business owner for years, present your pitch authentically. Your audience – no matter who they are – will see right through overly staged stories. Keep in mind; your emotional hook should change to fit your audience, which leads us to our third most common misconception.
Misconception #3: Every presentation should be the exact same every single time, in every situation.
Business pitches can happen in a range of places, from elevators to cocktail parties. No matter who you’re talking to or where, you have a limited amount of time to make that connection. So, you have to be purposeful with personalized pitches. Prepare for a range of scenarios in advance to make sure you have the right story at the ready. Consider:
What might your customers want to hear?
What are potential investors looking for?
What information might inspire professional partnerships?
What questions may arise (both the expected and the unexpected)?
With this newfound clarity, you should be able to make your point in just a minute or two. Practice your pitch…and not just in front of the mirror. Get in front of an actual audience who will be able to give you unbiased, objective feedback. As always, the Verano team is here to help. We can provide feedback or build your pitch from the ground up.