All Articles Tagged "business pitch"
Hmm… A writer at USA Today (via the Detroit Free Press) is offering up some very suspect advice.
“Sound Cutting Edge With These Business Buzzwords,” blares the headline. “You’ll have an edge if you can sprinkle in buzzwords liberally that make you sound cutting edge and cool, especially if you’re pitching your company to an investor or talking to your know-it-all brother-in-law,” the article continues. We really hope that sentence is kind of a joke, but we don’t think it is.
On the list of terms is “crowdfunding,” which has been a focus of our own editorial coverage and the “cloud,” important when you’re talking about digital technologies. But the list also has “social and mobile” and mobile on it, words you should’ve known years ago and are kind of unavoidable at this point. Among the most egregious are “freemium;” and “BYOD, ie bring your own device.” You will sound really stupid using these words in a conversation. Seriously.
More than that, you’ll sound like you’re trying very hard to let the listener know that you’re in the know. Jargon really doesn’t get you very far when you’re meeting someone over cocktails or at a networking event. And at business conventions, a person’s brain is so filled with everything that’s happening around them that you’ll just sound like every other brochure that’s being handed out.
Knowing the latest terms and phrases is definitely a must. But using them sparingly and in the most exquisite context is more important. If your business proposition has to do with collecting or analyzing data, for example, first describe what it is your company does exactly and then, once the conversation has moved along, shorthand your description by calling it “data mining” (one of the other “buzzwords”). In that case, using the catchphrase actually makes your sentences more concise, which is key to a pitch. And, within the previous sentences, you’ve thoroughly explained what you’re talking about, so you don’t risk losing your audience.
Words are for communicating. If you express yourself clearly, you automatically “sound cutting edge and cool.” You don’t have to try so hard.
(Black Enterprise) — Okay, so 30-60 seconds may not seem like a lot of time. But in the confines of an elevator, it’s an eternity. And in pitching your business to someone, it’s ample time to show them what you’ve got. Of course, every word and second counts. To win anyone over with the perfect pitch starts well before you step inside an elevator, a boardroom or take center stage. Avoid being lost for words or leaving money on the table by mastering these 5 P’s to the perfect pitch.
(VentureBeat) — In his best-selling book “Blink,” Malcolm Gladwell made famous the natural human reaction of quickly judging other people. This behavior is especially true of VCs and angel investors. The first few minutes of an interaction are crucial. The way an entrepreneur starts an investor pitch meeting can actually determine their success in that meeting. Those first 10-15 minutes, where the entrepreneur presents himself or herself – before they even present the idea – establish not only credibility, but the right to continue to pitch to an engaged audience. Yet, it is amazing to me how few entrepreneurs start investor meetings crisply and confidently. The formula for the start of the meeting is almost always the same – you are trying to answer the simple question on the mind of the investors: Who are you and why are you here? But when asked to review their backgrounds, entrepreneurs often fumble through incoherently, or ramble on tangents that aren’t relevant to the situation.
(Read Write Web) – Never underestimate the importance of having a good story when pitching your startup to potential investors, clients, partners, and journalists. As Seth Godin writes in his 2005 bestseller All Marketers Are Liars, “Either you’re going to tell stories that spread or you’re going to become irrelevant.” Godin’s book addresses a shift in marketing – away from simply presenting factual information and towards telling great stories. As Godin suggests, these stories make us want to believe – in a product, in an idea, in a company.