Guest Posting: How to Pitch, by Alan Stevens


Do you need to pitch for business, funding or sponsorship? Here’s a guide about how to succeed.

  1. Solve a Problem: Explain how your unique solution fills a “must have” need. If you aren’t solving a problem or filling a need, you’re in for a tough time.
  2. Tell Them What They Want to Hear: Describe your product or service and its benefits succinctly. You may also have to define and size the market, explain how you’re going to make money and show how your offering beats the competition.
  3. Speak in Plain English: Talk in tangibles, not abstractions, throughout your pitch.. Even if your product is complex, you’ll lose your audience if you use MBA-speak.
  4. Grab the Listener’s Attention: Develop a tagline – something enticing that captures the imagination. Make an analogy between you and a well-known company. “We’re the Twitter for teens” is a good short way to say that you’re trying to create a social messaging system for teenagers.
  5. Ask Qualifier Questions: To ensure that you’re targeting the right person with the right message, ask a couple of questions about their decision-making powers.
  6. Tailor Your Pitch to Your Audience: To investors, the pitch focuses on your team and how you plan to make money. To customers, your focus should be on the problem you can solve for them. Potential partners want to know what you’re building, why it’s important, and why you’re going to be a success.
  7. Show Your Passion: A good pitch makes your heart race. Show the fire in the belly and your passion to succeed.
  8. Tell a Consistent Story: Make sure that your managers and other key individuals, such as investors and board members, can also give your company’s elevator pitch fluently. Nothing sounds worse than fumbling, inaccurate or contradictory company descriptions.
  9. Conclude With a Call to Action: Always end your pitch with a call to action, but recognize that different audiences prompt different requests.

Alan Stevens is a professional speaker and media coach based in the UK. This information was written by Alan Stevens, and originally appeared in “The MediaCoach”, his free weekly ezine, available at

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