Perfect Your Pitch!

October 29

Charles Oddy suggests 5 tips for delivering a compelling pitch.

Spark Up is almost a month into its third cohort programme. It has been terrific to meet another vibrant crowd of entrepreneurs embarking the start-up journey with their eyes wide open.


Last week we held the second Pitch Perfect session and each business pitched for approx 3mins. The session was won by Kelly Muirhead @missladylox.


Kelly gave a compelling pitch about her business: Miss LadyLox. She explained what her product is, how she sourced suppliers, why there is a demand, and how her business is commercial. Despite some nerves, her pitching style was very natural and engaging. Most importantly she presented confidence that she understood her goal and why she is the right person to do it.


There could only be one winner but credit should also be given to Julie Simpson @laad_autism and Lizz Plumtree @LizzPlumtree who also gave very solid and engaging pitches.


This Friday we are having the third Pitch Perfect session in this cohort. We will be following a style used on the TV show The Voice. We will have three guest judges at SparkUp. The judges will be seated at the front with their backs to the pitching entrepreneur. Each judge will only turn their seats around during the pitch if that judge feels compelled by that pitch. As far as I am aware, the judges haven’t heard any of these businesses pitch and so will be purely guided by the audio content within the pitch.


The judges are all entrepreneurial, business minded and from a variety of career backgrounds and disciplines. They are all active in supporting business growth in Liverpool and encouraging innovative ideas.


The audience is on your side at the start. The moment each pitch starts, the audience is wanting to get engaged. It is a bit like listening to a best man speech at a wedding, everyone in the audience is rooting for the best man to give a good speech.


Here are some tips:


Concept 1: Make it easy for the audience to understand your business early on. Don’t be too verbose and give examples if that helps put your business into context.


Concept 2: If possible, use some relevant facts not assumptions. Facts are comforting in that they remove uncertainty and speculation. For example, an audience wants to know that there is market demand for your product/service. Use facts to convey this message.


Concept 3: Sell your knowledge and experience. It is a common theme in pitches for entrepreneurs to understate their experience. Use facts to convey the advantage provided by your experience/expertise. For example, if you have qualifications, experience, management, awards, grants, funding etc. then tell the audience. The audience wants to know that you are tenacious, ambitious and an achiever. Show that what you have achieved and how this will help the business.


Concept 4: Be yourself. Nerves are ok. Being shy is ok. Let the audience meet the real you, and hear about your plans and ambitions. Make it easy for them to visualize the journey you have ahead.


Concept 5: Network after the pitch. Whenever you pitch to a room full of people, be ready to network after. Don’t talk to people you know well, go find someone you don’t know and make a new network. Help them and help them to help you.


Best of Luck @charlesoddy

Charles Oddy CFA, FRM




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