Business Pitch Presentation you are selling yourself and marketing your business No. 14

August 2, 2021 Published by Thomas Cullen

Presenting a product, service or idea can be a daunting experience for a start-up or SME, so we have provided you with general tips here that should help you when preparing for a pitch.

A presentation is your chance to make a great first impression and generate interest in your business. It should be a short presentation that can be delivered in 60 seconds to 10 minutes the rules are the same. Capturing someone’s attention in such a short span of time is quite a challenge, so here are some tips from to help you nail your presentation.

In a face-to-face encounter, 7 percent of a verbal message comes from the words used; 38 percent comes from the vocal tone, pacing, and inflection; and 55 percent of the message is transmitted by the speaker’s appearance and language.

People can form an impression in just 50 milliseconds 1/20 of a second. Clearly this is a subjective, emotional rather than rational judgement. In the first seven seconds of contact, a person forms 11 impressions about you and our organization. And then according to this study the rest of your time is spent finding evidence to prove your original impression of that person, whether that impression is true or not.  Michael Solomon, PhD, Psychologist.

For brevity use a story board answering the following questions…use Joseph Rudyard Kipling to get the critical points across.

“I KEEP six honest serving-men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When, and How and Where and Who”.

Slide 1 Your first point is your title point, a WOW opening which provides the name of the business, your name, title and contact information, plus a slogan / tag line ( no more than three words that tells what you do “Low Fares Airline) if you have one. During the presentation, you can read the point and add in a sentence that describes what it is you do.

Slide 2 The next point should introduce a problem, pain, or need that persists and is relatable to your target market. Statistics can help you support your comments but cite only a couple at best(3). You want the audience to relate to the problem, pain or need or at least understand how it affects others.

Slide 3 The third point should get to your solution. Briefly describe in simple terms how your business has figured out how to alleviate the problem, pain or neeed you mentioned in point 2. Make sure the audience understands that you have a unique approach. You might also add a few words to support your overall value proposition. Highlight the critical top three benefits and features you have to offer use LEAN model i.e Reduce, Eliminate, Create or Raise.

Slide 4 Next, you want to explain how the business will make money. What are your revenue sources? Who are your customers? What is your pricing/ structure/margins? Then talk briefly about how you expect to profit.

Slide 5 Now present a little more detail on your operating plan. How does it all work? Self -service? Kiosks? Personal service? From buying the goods to marketing them to sales and shipping, give your audience a summary of how it all works. Include a little technology—remember, “a little!” This is where you may need a second, visual/ graphic, prototype, model point to show how it all works.

Slide  6 Now it’s time to present your marketing plan in a few short words. After all, if you’re going to create dynamic advertising and promotional campaigns, what better way to start than briefly explaining how you plan to market the business? Give some specifics, rather than saying “on the Internet” or “on TV.” Let your audience know you have a plan for marketing and can keep it within a reasonable budget.

Slide  7 Mention your key competitors—SWOT but be nice. Then explain what gives you the competitive edge. Explain your advantages over the competitors, primary, secondary and tertiary

Slide  8 Talk about your team, advisors, business angels, evangelists, sponsors etc with a few very brief highlights (one line) of each member’s background that relates to the business at hand. Remember, people invest in other people.

Slide 9 This next point should show a clear financial projection with a three-to-five-year forecast. Explain the method you used to arrive at your numbers.

Slide 10 Finally, show them where you are at present. What have you done thus far, and how are you looking to move forward sooner rather than later? Present a positive call to action based on what you’ve accomplished to date and what you’ll accomplish in the future.

Slide 11 What Intellectual Property has been secured and what are the risks remaining.

Slide 12 There are many ways to go about putting together your deck. And yes, if you need to go to 12 slides, do so, but try not to go longer.

Additional Point to note:

  1. The starting point of any pitch is your audience.Research your audience. Who are they? Why should they care? What is in it for them? Find an emotional connection between you and your audience. Your pitch will change depending on the audience. An investor pitch, for example, will be different to a customer or client pitch.
  2. Structure your pitch in a story format.  Have a limit of Joseph Rudyard Kipling, “Six Honest Men”. An investor pitch, for example, often follows the logical flow of Problem, Solution, Market, Team and Financials. Close with a summary, thank the audience and provide an action/focus for the future. Where possible, overlap the closing paragraph with the opening paragraph.
  3. Ensure there is a logical link between your points.
  4. Keep your pitch as concise, clear, and simple as possible.  Remember, less is more. A pitch is like the trailer of a movie. Leave the audience wanting more instead of overloading them with too much information. Avoid any technical jargon.
  5. Engage and entertain your audience with relevant examples and anecdotes that they will remember.Think from the heart as well as the head.
  6. Your voice is like a musical instrument.It plays a huge part in how your message is received. You need to vary the pitch Use color, graphics, photos, and other visuals to illustrate your topic (a picture is worth a thousand words.) and pace of your voice. Use pause and emphasis.
  7. Ensure a confident posture.You need to appear confident to instil confidence in your audience – shoulders back, fix your feet to the floor. Keep your hands by your side and gesture as you would normally. Use eye contact with a pleasant facial expression.
  8. Nerves are normal – just manage them. Breathe mindfully, use visualisation and/or positive affirmations. Shift the focus from yourself to getting the message across to your audience.
  9. Practice your pitch as often as possible.Preparation and practice is the price paid for
  10. Be interested and passionate about the content of your pitch?
  11. Capture attention. Make it memorable and make them want to know more. Make text readable from 5 feet or more away. Use bullets for main points.
  12. Avoid jargon. Get your message across clearly. Using complicated business jargon and buzzwords that do not really add any value can undermine your presentation.
  13. Focus on your listener.
  14. Provide proof of results so far Operations, Samples, Sales, Market Research, Market Validation, use a “story board” to compliment your presentations as well as props. samples etc.
  15. Keep it simple and natural. The presentation should be conversational and leave scope for people to raise questions and share their opinions. Keep simple, uncluttered, calm, contrasting, and complementary colors. Use only one or two fonts; do not use all capitals, which are more difficult to read.
  16. Provide an enhanced script for your presentation in “confidence” and “without prejudice”
  17. See Steve Jobs and his presentation style, structure, and content.
  18. Use language careful and intelligently by demonstrating your logical, rational approach and inviting them to see, observe get them to listen, touch/ feel, watch reflect.
  19. Do not post slides, then read them word for word. Your audience can read.
  20. Take a breath between slides so you do not start motoring along.
  21. Do not try to pack too much into a PowerPoint presentation—your listeners can always read the full plan for more details.


Looking forward to hearing from you, book a free introductory online mentoring session


Thomas Cullen Founder and C.E.O.

Email me at is here to assist, help, and guide your journey from idea to success when starting or developing a small business like a Sherpa would help you ascend to the summit of Mt. Everest. We guide you in what you need to do and help you with how to do it.


Copyright: January 2021

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