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Pitch Perfect: Mastering the Art of Persuasion in Business and Beyond

In the business world and beyond, ideas can be the currency of success, but their value is only realised if they’re effectively communicated. Whether it’s convincing an investor of the potential of your start-up, pitching a ground-breaking TV show to producers, making a compelling case in an interview, or selling an innovative idea to your team, an effective pitch can be the difference between success and failure.


Conciseness: your key to impact

“A brilliant idea means nothing unless you can distil it to a few moments of sheer power. The more concise you can be, the more effective you will be,” advises The last thing you want to do is bore your audience with details they can learn about later – concentrate on vital facts and statistics.


Engage through storytelling

Although the facts are important, you still need to draw your audience in with a bit of intrigue. “Storytelling is a scientifically proven way to capture a listener’s attention and hold it,” say Take the room on a journey together that has a clear beginning, middle and end.


Tell your audience what’s in it for them

A great way to cover all your storytelling bases is to live up to your audience’s expectations and tell them what they want to hear – what’s in it for them. Business Insider recommends using ‘Monroe’s Motivated Sequence’ to persuade your audience that they’ll benefit:

  1. Relate to them.
  2. Convince them they ‘need’ your product or idea.
  3. Give a solution to their problem.
  4. Help them visualise a future with your product or idea in it.
  5. Tell them precisely what you want them to do today and what will happen next.


Engage through storytelling

How many times have you seen would-be successes on shows like Dragons’ Den let down by not knowing their numbers? Richard Branson has previously shared his 5 steps to pitching on and highlighted the need to be clear on the financial and legal aspects. “Would-be investors will want clear, fact-based estimates of their potential return on investment,” agree


Define your goal and call to action

“Whether to get the ball rolling on a job or project or something larger, you should know exactly what you want from this presentation before you plan on going out and executing it,” say Business Insider. Your pitch should close with a clear call to action – be clear with your audience on “what needs to happen in order for them to realise the results you have discussed” suggest


Be confident (or fake it)

Even if you’re not feeling confident, it’s vital that you show confidence in your idea. There are a few tricks to faking confidence when you need some help. “Removing yourself from the situation emotionally and instead pretending that you’re simply playing the character of a confident business person is one way to achieve this,” say If your hands are shaking and you are holding papers, put them down to hide it, and remember to breathe.


Perfect your pitch through practice

One way to help keep your nerves under control is to know your pitch inside and out so you can reduce the worry of forgetting what you’re going to say. Practice out loud repeatedly, record it, listen to it, and practice in front of family or friends.


Be able to adapt

Oren Jacob went from 20 years working with Pixar to co-founding his own company, so he’s no stranger to telling stories and pitching. “The first thing to know is that no pitch is static. It evolves based on who you’re talking to, where you are, what you need to get across,” he says. Jacob believes you should always be practicing your pitch, so if new information arises, you can add it in without a problem.

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