In our series of pitch tricks so far, David Beckett has already explained us how to prepare and how to open your pitch. This week’s topic has more of a constructional character. Shaping and building your pitch into an easy-to-listen-to and well structured story can be quite of a challenge. Here are some handy insights from the Pitch Guru of Amsterdam about the best way you can structure your story and deliver a totally top-notch pitch!
Doing it wrong
‘There-are-eleven-things-I-would-like-to-tell-about-our-product, you-can-see-them-on-the-slide’. That not only looks horrible written down, it is also not really exciting to listen to. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who talk and explain like this. No air between their words and slides full of ‘bullet points’. According to David, such information-bombs and the human brain are not compatible with one another. ‘Our brain goes like: ‘ Oh my God, do I really have to listen to 11 things? And remember them? I haven’t got time for that!’ Over-explaining is another common mistakes in pitches. When given too much detail about the product, the audience will switch off.
Bits and pieces
People like to have information in pieces or packages. They find it hard to break down a stream of information and get the most important things out of it. So while pitching you have to help your audience with processing the information you give them. ‘It is the pitcher’s job to simplify things and break them down into the real highlights’. An easy way to do that is to keep in mind the ‘power of three’. This theory swears by the number 3. Breaking your information down to 3 parts will make it easier to understand and remember. Because 3 is easy, short and smart.
The devil is in the detail
So, your audience wants you to guide them through your story. You have to keep them by the hand and offer them structure. You also have to think and exclude certain details of your story because you can’t cram everything into 3 minutes. But that shouldn’t have to be a problem. ‘Tell about your pain, your product and what is unique about it, all the rest is for the Q&A’, David assures.
Imagine yourself as a member of your audience
Furthermore, put yourself in the position of the audience. How would they perceive your pitch? Would they like it? If you were in the audience yourself, how would you receive the information of your own pitch? ‘Lots of people don’t like to see 11 bullet points slides, but they still put them on their own slides’, David notes. ‘Why? Probably because they don’t know how to do it differently!’
Don’t fall into specific details about your idea but break things down to 3’s. The power of threes is that they are easy to remember and easy to understand. You can also break your pitch into 3 themes: the Problem (the pain), the Solution (what is unique about your product?) and the Team that is going to do this. In this way you have a clear structure and your audience won’t be flabbergasted by loads of unbearable information.