Four steps to a perfect pitch

Your pitch can be as great as your innovation. Here’s some hint and tips you might find useful during your preparation.

1. Do your homework

Take a moment right now and ask yourself, how much do you actually know about the organisation you’re pitching to? Have you read all the small print in their submission guidelines?

These are the absolute fundamentals that you need to be aware of. If you fail to cover off such basic details, it shows a lack of research and knowledge around your audience and a lack of preparedness, neither of which are going to win the pitch. Take time to familiarise yourself with the basics to make sure you don’t fall at the first hurdle.


2. Grab their attention

When pitching remotely – without the allure of your winning smile – you need to sell yourself with the very first sentence. Let people know right away why your idea is a winner. Think of your pitch like a newspaper article; start off with an eye-catching headline and include the most important facts at the top. If people are interested, they’ll read on, allowing you to set out your stall in more detail, including all the relevant technical facts and figures.

3. Keep it short

When pitching via email you only have a few paragraphs to make your case. So don’t get bogged down with any unnecessary details. Don’t waste valuable time with rambling introductions; start your pitch with a couple of brief, tightly worded sentences that catch the reader’s eye and let them know all the key details right from the get-go.

When in doubt, remember the five Ws- Who, What, When, Where and Why. People are busy and have lots of pitches to get through, so you want to make your point quickly and concisely.

4. Know your idea inside-out and preparing for a face-to-face pitch

Now it’s time to turn the spotlight onto yourself: how confident are you in your knowledge of the product, idea or proposal? Have you run the numbers, done your research, and identified your niche? More importantly, are you able to produce these facts on demand?

You want to be able to assert that nobody knows your product, your market and its potential better than you do. The pitch is your opportunity to sell yourself as the expert in your field. You need to be able to convince people that you can turn your idea into reality and provide the figures to show the idea stacks up and can produce benefits. And that requires a thorough understanding of both the big picture, and all the fine detail of realising your vision. You don’t need to cram your pitch full of facts and figures, but you need to identify the key numbers that prove yours is a viable idea.

If you’ve got an innovative idea that will help businesses and the public sector reduce costs or save money by using less natural resources and want to put some of the advice above into practice, why not make your pitch to us at Water Plus, for the chance to win £5,000. The competition is open to start-up companies, universities, inventors and creative thinkers and established product-creators. The innovation could be something that directly involves water or wastewater or an innovation which results in a business or public sector using less water overall (eg as a result of introducing an innovation).

Happy pitching!


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