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5 hacks for the perfect pitch

Pitching is a skill worth mastering. All entrepreneurs will at some point have to pitch their business idea when trying to secure funding from an investor, or even sell to a potential client.

We’ve rounded up 5 important basics you need to know to deliver a winning proposal.

1. Have in-depth knowledge about your product

While not everyone is born with great sales and marketing abilities, Kate Taylor, from The Gordon Institute of Business Science (Gibs), says there are areas that all entrepreneurs can work on, including having in-depth knowledge of your product, confidence and a solid strategy for the pitch.

In an article, How to finally master pitching this year, Taylor’s shares her advice for nailing your next pitch.

2. Be consistent and confident

In an article, Dr Lifesgud’s secrets to delivering a killer pitch, Selebogo Molefe, also known as DrLifesgud to his Twitter followers, says: ‘Don’ts’ don’t sell. Investors buy into you before they buy into your idea.

No matter how good the idea looks on paper, it’s about you. Smart investors will look at whether you have what it takes to move the idea forward.

Read his advice and learn how to deliver a pitch with consistency and confidence.

3. Keep it short and sweet

American entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki says he knows from the onset if a business pitch will be a success or a disaster.

In an article, How to sell your business to investors in less than 20 minutes, Kawasaki swears by the 10/20/30 rule when using a presentation pitch. According to the rule, a pitch should not have more 10 slides, last no more than 20 minutes, and contain no font smaller than 30 points.

Try out Kawasaki’s method next time you’re presenting.

4. Show enthusiasm

Often entrepreneurs don’t possess the skills to pitch their business effectively to potential investors, and as a result don’t succeed in obtaining funding.

In an article, What to do to get your business investor-ready, Gerrie van Biljon, executive director of Business Partners Limited, says that being excited about your ideas and showing enthusiasm will greatly benefit entrepreneurs and will impress investors.

Use van Biljon’s 6 techniques to improve your chances of getting funding.

5. Prepare, practice and focus on your pitch

Having a good business plan is not the only thing that will help secure funding. Research, preparation and the right first impression can help entrepreneurs secure funding.

Musa Kalenga, an entrepreneur, speaker and digital marketer, says in an article, How to win over investors even before you say a word, that entrepreneurs should not ignore the kind of first impression they make. 

Use Kalenga’s tips to help you succeed in putting together the right image.

  • SME South Africa is hosting a live Pitch session with Dragon’s Den judge Gil Oved on Wednesday, 15 July at 12pm. You can start tweeting or sending us on Facebook your business ideas in 140 characters. Submissions are open from 3 July up until 15 July. Tag @SMESouthAfrica and @Gil_Oved using the hashtag #Pitch4Gil.
  • The winning pitch will be chosen by Gil himself and receive a breakfast mentoring session with Gil to work on their idea, get pitch perfect and investor-ready.
  • Be sure to polish your pitching skills before you present your business idea.


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