Pitching v Presenting: The Critical Difference

There is one critical difference between a pitch and a presentation 

A presentation has a multitude of purposes. It is a chance to educate, explain and captivate the imagination of your audience. Usually, the audience know that it’s a presentation, its purpose and the time limit allotted to do it. A pitch is a completely different beast, and needs much more time to prepare if it is to be done well.

“Not that the story need be long, but it will take much more time to make it short.”      Henry David Thoreau.

In a presentation it is ok to go a little off-track occasionally as long as you find your way back to the central point. You can go into detail as long as you are engaging your audience. This is a critical factor. I have seen all too many presentations that didn’t engage the audience and prove to be more damaging than helpful to the audience it is aimed at.

A pitch has only one purpose, and one purpose only

To gain enough interest from your target audience for them to want to find out more. On this basis, it requires almost surgical precision if you are to get the sizzle across, without straying into the often fatal realm of using acronyms, industry-specific vernacular or too much irrelevant detail.

Pitching is to presenting what a movie trailer is to a film

How often do you see a 1-1.5 minute movie trailer (which gets you to go to the cinema or watch the film at home) only to find out that all of the best bits were in the trailer? This is what needs to happen in a good pitch, especially if it’s one for investment.

So how do you prepare an effective pitch for funding?

A good funding pitch is as much about the delivery as the content….and both need work. So, let me give you the foundation of a good pitch with regard to content:

  • A one-sentence description of who you are and what your company does (ideally this should give people a clear indication of what you do)
  • A clear indication of the problem you solve
  • A great intro (short story of why it’s important to you)
  • Something that you do that nobody else does (a real unique selling point)
  • A call to action
  • Anticipation of all of the difficult questions that you will get after, with short, snappy answers that show you have a good idea of where you are and what needs to be done

Having the content for a great pitch and delivering it in a way that is magnetic to investors are two completely different skill-sets. This is why I help businesses get pitch ready.

It’s not about the quantity of investors that you meet, it’s more about the quality of your pitch

If you are truly pitch-ready for investment you will have far more conversations with people interested in your business. If you are not pitch-ready you are likely to talk your way out of investment. I have witnessed this more times than I care to remember. Badly prepared pitches or entrepreneurs who are clearly winging it will soon become toxic around investors.

If you would rather find out how good your pitch is before getting in front of investors then you are welcome to contact me or get to one of my pitch workshops.

Because you never get a second chance to make a good first impression!


Image taken from https://www.themuse.com

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