A business pitch is one of the few things that could either make or break the company. Whether you are trying to get funding from investors or acquire a potential client, the stakes of every pitch are high. After all, the way you present your idea makes all the difference between taking an idea to the next level and missing out on valuable opportunities. So, how can a company effectively prepare for an important business pitch? A study, “Preparedness and Cognitive Legitimacy as Antecedents of New Venture Funding in Televised Business Pitches”, examined data from two popular television shows built around entrepreneurs in search of venture capital – Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den. The results revealed that entrepreneurs who showed clear signs of preparedness and a strong handle on their material created credibility with the investors and received more funding, regardless of the project (Cassie Jones, 2012).
This study clearly shows the importance of being well-prepared for a pitch. However, while the idea, the reports and the numbers are the most important aspects, the office plays a crucial role in how other people perceive your company, thus influencing the decision of potential investors or clients. So, if you have an important business pitch coming up, here are a few factors you should consider in order to efficiently prepare your office:
The Right Equipment
Many people have great ideas. What is important is how you choose to sell it. Hence, once you have decided what the main points of the presentation are, you will have to strategize on how you choose to get your ideas across. If the meeting is taking place in the boardroom or conference room, it’s vital to ensure that all the equipment needed is set-up in advance. For example, most presentations make use of visual aids like PowerPoint and flipcharts to display facts and figures in an easy way, while getting the point across. Moreover, you should ensure that a whiteboard is present in the room so you can easily elaborate your vision and ideas. Some people also choose to deliver their pitch through videos, so ensure that you have the video technology needed on hand. No matter what the means, it is always a good idea to test all the equipment just before delivering the pitch to ensure it is working properly. You could also consider handing out short summaries of your idea to the audience to help enhance your message and provide a pen and paper to the attendees if they want to take notes.
First Impressions Matter
A business pitch is all about impressions. And the first ones matter the most. Hence, the way your workplace is presented can speak volumes about your business, ethics and company culture. For instance, a messy office may reflect badly on your business as it indicates that you are unorganized and negligent in your working methods. On the other hand, a tidy and clutter-free office will inspire an environment of success and professionalism, giving your guests a sense of confidence. While a workplace should ideally always be tidy and organized, you should give your office an extra-through clean and ensure everything is in order before the clients arrive. Ask your staff to de-clutter their workplaces and pay close attention to the rooms the clients are most likely to sit in, like conference or board rooms.
Giving an important presentation at your office provides you with the perfect opportunity to show off your businesses’ success and promote your brand. After all, the aim of any pitch is to sell a product or idea that your business has to offer, so it only makes sense that your surroundings should reinforce this. For example, having branded interior can help make a firm more memorable and create the image of an established business. You may also want to display any awards or certificates that you have achieved or simply display any achievements or important landmarks on your office whiteboard.
Refreshments are a Must
More often than not, it is the small details that make all the difference. So, if you want to leave a favorable impression and make your guests feel welcome in your office, don’t forget the refreshments. A selection of hot and cold drinks, coupled with an assortment of snacks should be enough to keep your guests refreshed and help them maintain concentration. Moreover, by providing guests with refreshments, you will also show potential clients and investors that you care about their needs and have great attention to detail.
By giving yourself plenty of time to prepare, you should be able to leave a favorable impression and increase the chances of your presentation being a triumph. You can easily purchase the equipment required for your pitch, like projectors, appropriate cables, and whiteboard. At the end of it, you must always remember that pitching doesn’t need to be a daunting task. The more you do it the easier it becomes, especially when you get the reward you’ve been chasing.