First of all, don’t worry if you missed the Skills Network “Pitching for Success” Pitch event this week – we’ll be running it again at a venue near you in the near future. Pitching is an essential skill for every business person, particularly in a small business where you rely on everyone to represent what you do properly. In a startup with a small team, with people multi-tasking, it’s possible for every member of that team to find themselves in a situation where that dreaded question is asked: what does your business do?
How long is a piece of string?
Pitch length and content is the crux of the skill that we want to help you develop. You want to be sure that all of your team are delivering the same message, whether they are genuinely in an elevator with a potential mystery customer, or having a long and leisurely chat at a networking event. The trick is to deliver that information time and time again without deviation, repetition or hesitation. It really can be like competing on Just a Minute – or delivering five acts of a Shakespeare play, night after night. Whatever the length, the message has to be the same. You don’t know how long it’s going to be, but the string is the same. Join us at the next event to learn how to build a flexible structure for all your pitches.
What’s your audience?
The problem with successful networking is that often you don’t know who you’re really talking to. At a recent conference, I talked to everyone: people in the queue for a drink; people in the seminars I attended; people I sat next to at lunchtime; people on the conference shuttlebus at the start and end of each day. I even talked to people at 2am at conference parties. The pitch had to be right time after time after time, with the same level of fresh enthusiasm, and the anonymous people to whom I was talking turned out to include potential clients, directors of major multinationals, and other very useful contacts. Without an automatic structure in my head, opportunities could have been wasted.
Join us at the next opportunity
Are you ready to develop your own pitch structure for every occasion? You can stay in touch with the Skills Network programme by following us on Twitter @skillsnetworkNE, signing up for our newsletter, or joining the Skills Network to benefit from reduced cost events and private online networking and support.