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How to Deliver a Successful Pitch in Five Minutes

So you’ve sent a dozen cold emails and this one prospect has given you the much longed-for reply, “I like your idea, I’d love to arrange a meeting so we can discuss more” The only problem is that he wants the meeting as soon as possible because he is a busy man and doesn’t get a lot of free time. Your mind is on overdrive when you hear that you will be given 30 minutes to pitch your idea. How do you deliver a successful pitch in 30 minutes? First things first, calm down – this is very important. You are not going to be able to craft a winning pitch if your mind is laden with anxiety and you’re second-guessing yourself. Investors are busy people so if the first five minutes of your pitch are not engaging enough, you’re not getting the rest of that 30 minutes.

When you are faced with such a situation, focus on reeling your prospect in within the first 5 minutes – better still, deliver your entire pitch in just five minutes. The average Nigerian has a short attention span, and you don’t want him to lose interest before you get to the best part. How can you do that? Read till the end of this article, I’m sharing some cool tips on how to deliver a successful pitch in five minutes. They are tested and proven to work, trust me!

1. Reel the Prospect in with an Impressive First Impression.

When delivering a pitch to investors, you should start with a captivating introduction. This introduction should clearly state who you are and what you do. It is also helpful to state any relevant awards you have received, or accomplishments you have made that can attest to your credibility. Walk the prospect through a brief exposition of your company’s goals and visions, and end with a summary of what your entire pitch is about.

While crafting your introduction, remember to use a conversational tone and avoid choking it with too many special terminologies. To meet up with your goal to deliver a successful pitch in 5 minutes, make your introduction only 70 seconds long.

2. State the Problem

This part of your pitch is where you employ storytelling and aim to evoke emotions in the mind of the investor(s). Talk about the problem you are trying to solve, and how it affects your target audience and your investors as well. When presenting the problem, choose your words carefully so that they inspire a sense of urgency and leave the investor itching to know how it can be solved quickly. You can create that sense of urgency by highlighting how long the problem has persevered, and the consequences of it lasting much longer. Feel free to refer to other ways people have tried to solve this problem and explain why they failed.

While you practice presenting your pitch, keep your timer close by. This part of your pitch should be communicated in 70 seconds, to ensure that you hit the 5-minute goal.

3. Offer a Feasible Solution

As far as pitching your brand to investors is concerned, your USP (Unique Selling Point) is the solution to the problem you have highlighted earlier – yes, even if the problem is world hunger. When presenting your USP as the solution, make sure that it is not only feasible but also unique and lucrative. As much as the investor may be concerned about solving the problem, he will not be concerned enough to invest if he is not convinced that the idea is profitable. Your solution should be unique and innovative, so it gives you an edge over anybody else already working on the problem you plan to solve.

Feel free to back your USP up with statistics and results from a relevant analysis that show why it is the best option. This is the best part of your pitch so employ the use of visual aids and demo videos to show the investor how your product or business model works.

PS: Your USP could be a product or an attractive feature of a business model.

This section is where the real gist of your pitch is so you can spend more time on it. However, 90 seconds is enough time to address it if you want to meet your 5-minute goal.

3. Tell the Prospect What he Stands to Gain

Investors are busy people who believe that time is money. If they are giving you both their time and money, you have to convince them that your product or brand is going to yield more money for them. In this part of your pitch, you should aim to convince your prospective investor that your idea is profitable. You can do this by outlining the steps you will follow to earn financial returns from this product, brand, or business model.

This is also the part where you tell the investor how much capital is required, and what their specific contribution is. You should wrap up this segment in 50 seconds with a promise of a particular percentage of revenue the investor(s) is entitled to in return for investment.

4. Close with a Strong Call to Action

You should never end your pitch without a call to action. Emphasize the most important parts of your pitch, and reinforce that sense of urgency. Present the investment in your brand as an opportunity that if your investors fail to seize, may never come their way again. Establish the fact that now is the perfect time to take action, not later. Close your presentation with a sentence that tells them the next step to take if they are interested. A simple sentence like,” we have the documents ready, all that is left is your signature”, communicates the next step beautifully. You only have 20 seconds left for this part so use it wisely.

5. Ask for Feedback.

After concluding your pitch, ask the investor for feedback. To make the most of your 5 minutes, you should not entertain questions in the course of your presentation. Therefore, while you are asking for feedback, also inquire if the investor has any questions.

If he indicates that he has a question while you are pitching your idea, politely decline giving him an audience – do not ignore him. The investor is less likely to get offended if you say, “please hold on, for now, I would address any concerns you have as soon as I’m done” than if you blatantly refuse to grant him an audience. You can also say, “I am sure if you wait a while till I’m done, you will find that your question has been answered”.

Apart from presenting an opportunity to ask questions, asking your investor(s) for feedback allows you to gain insightful suggestions on how to improve your business model, product, or presentation skills.

Pro Tips to Deliver a Successful Pitch

  • Always have a prepared pitch on standby when you send your proposals to prospective clients or investors.
  • Practice presenting your pitch over and over beforehand. That will help you get your body language under control.
  • Get enough rest the night before your presentation so you do not appear before the investor(s) looking tired and stressed out.
  • Double check everything you will need for the presentation before D-day to prevent unpleasant surprises.  

Set your timer, you can do this!

One’s first meeting with an investor can feel like a teenager’s first date. Your mind will be a mess of emotions – excitement, anticipation, anxiety, and dread will each demand to be felt. These emotions are heightened by the fact that you know time is precious, the first five minutes even more than the others. How do you deliver a successful pitch in 5 minutes? You:

  • Reel the prospect in with a captivating intro,
  • Keep his attention by staying relatable,
  • Highlight the problem and suggest a feasible solution,
  • Promise him profitable results and show him how you plan to get them,

and,

  • Close with a strong call to action.

You are probably wondering, “what if after all these he still isn’t convinced?” But, what if he is? We’ll never know until you try!

Take a look at these articles, you will find them useful to find out how to deliver a successful pitch:

  1. The Right Way to Send a Cold E-mail
  2. How to Create a Great PowerPoint Presentation
  3. How to Prepare for a Zoom Presentation
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