6 tips for your successful pitch

George enters the stage.

He is very nervous!

Today he’s presenting his new project. A lot of money is at stake! If he receives the funding, he’s set up for the next 2 years.

He begins with a long monologue about his life and then presents, in minute detail, all the technical sophistication of his new orange press.

Instead of the planned 5 minutes, George speaks for 12. He ends his presentation with “Thank you for your attention!”

In the end he was not able to convince the jury and didn’t get the funding!

Based on George’s example we will analyse what he did wrong and learn from his mistakes.

Tip 1: Pitch analysis

Gerhard didn’t research how a pitch works and also didn’t think about what could personally appeal to his audience.

Before we get started on our own pitch, let’s seek some inspiration. There are lots of pitches on TV. Why not search Youtube for e.g.: “2minutes2million” or „Science Slam“. Make notes of what you liked, what appeals to you personally, and what could appeal to others.

Tip 2: Templates make life easier

While Gerhard had indeed typed his pitch up on the computer, he didn’t pay heed to structure. And this is why he failed, ultimately!

At BusinessMind we have created a brilliant template which we use to quickly and efficiently prepare a pitch. The goal here is to quickly make the most important points clear.

Tip 3: Use props

Gerhard did not have his orange press with him. Instead of speaking about its advantages, he spoke about the technical sophistications. No wonder, after all he developed them. But when you pitch, it’s more important to emphasize the benefit for the consumer – in this case, the jury – instead of swamping the target audience with technical details.

Dare to be creative and use a prop during your opener that represents your topic.

Nothing is more boring than an uninteresting opener.  

Do you have a product or an idea for a product? Then take it on stage with you and explain its advantages and what problems your product solves.

Tip 4: Lean pitch slides

Maybe you know this from badly prepared meetings: slides with far too much text and no pictures!

At BusinesMind we work with lean slides and pictures that underscore our core message, as this example shows:


Tip 5: Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse

Gerhard didn’t find it necessary to rehearse, telling himself: “I’ll get by somehow.” Which is true – he did not get the funding!

Once you have filled out your template and created some slides, start rehearsing. And not just in front of the mirror. Which is also okay at the beginning.

Rehearse in front of different people who will give you honest feedback.

Tip: Is your presentation “suitable for children”? Pitch in front of an eleven-year-old. Children are usually honest in their feedback. The advantage: if the child has understood, you’re well on the way to your target audience understanding you, too, because they are not likely to be experts either.

Tip 6: Strong ending

Gerhard also made a mistake by concluding with “Thank you for your attention!“ This is pretty feeble and, secondly, perhaps the audience was not at all attentive!

People always remember the beginning and the end of a presentation. So get creative and make sure you provide an ending that will remain memorable.

The next time, perhaps Gerhard should book a pitch training at BusinessMind like the online seminar we held with the ACR.

In our highly interactive seminar with the client ACR the participants not only learned the 10 commandments of pitching.

They also had an opportunity to work on their own pitch and, in break out rooms, practice their newly acquired skills with colleagues and finetune their pitches. At the end, the participants gave us very nice feedback for our Live Online Pitch Training.

We were even sent a testimonial as well:

100 arguments but still no sale?

I’m the best in my field, of that I’m convinced ?

So why is someone awarded a contract for a project that is worse than mine? Not again, and not with me!

This week I had a really great online seminar with BusinessMind.
Thank you Birgit and Ben for the entertaining and very valuable inspiration.


Dr. Martin Weigl-Kuska

Divisional Director Bioenergy and Chemical Analytics

Wood Research Austria