Pitching ideas is a delicate art that can sometimes be more complicated than what it appears to be. The exercise of enabling anyone to understand your project is fundamental to engage the people you are talking to by showing your passion and your innovative idea.

First question: What exactly is a pitch?

Here is my attempt at describing a pitch in the simplest of ways: A pitch is a vocal presentation of your project enabling you to share a message to a precise audience in a short amount of time. It’s basically an exercise where you try to put your ideas in the most logical order possible to say in the simplest way that is understandable by the most people.

Second question: Should I pitch my idea to everyone?

You might have had this question running through your mind already: Should I talk about my very secret startup idea to anyone and everyone?

The answer is YES, you should talk about your idea, and even go a step further and consider it as an integral part of your startup journey.

Sharing and pitching your idea is key to receive feedback, suggestions and comments on your startup. It’s a way to have insights on how other people perceive your idea and eventually give you recommendations on how to improve it.

The common misconception that some people have is that if I talk about my very secret idea, people will steal it.

NO – they won’t.

There is actually a big difference between thinking that an idea is good, and investing time, energy, and dedication to build it. Almost all the people you will talk to won’t do anything with your idea. Almost all the people you will be pitching to will have their own projects going on in their lives, and they will be too preoccupied or content doing what they are already doing to try stealing your idea.

In the off chance that someones actually does try to steal your idea, the most important part of your success of your startup is how you execute and develop the idea, and since the idea came from you, you are more likely more aware of the issues and the environment around it, making it easier for you to execute.

Remember: don’t fall in love with your idea! Building, developing and changing your idea is a constant exploration quest, and feedback from people is required to further develop an idea.

Third question: How do I efficiently pitch my ideas?

We won’t go into details on what should be or not be in a pitch or how to do it.
Instead, in this article, we will try to develop and give you some good tips to efficiently pitch your ideas!

1. Adapt your pitch to your audience
Your pitch has to be different depending on the audience you are talking to as you won’t have the same speech in front of a group of students or a group of corporates. The tone, the message you want to share, your body language have to be adapted according to the people you are talking to. Having the same pitch for every audience is the guarantee to have ineffective pitches.

2. There is no fixed pitch structure
As long as all the elements are there in a logical order, you should have all the tools that you need to effectively pitch an idea. There is not such a thing as a perfect pitch structure as by definition, a pitch is something that needs to be adapted according to the situation.

3. Body language is key
Stand straight, smile, move around, use your hands to talk, make sure your body is helping you deliver your speech. Remember more than 55% of communication is delivered by body language!

4. Calibrate
Take your time and try to pause time to time during the pitch in order to make sure that the person you are talking is able to get all the things you are saying, and try to transition smoothly between all the different sections of your pitch. Articulate and speak clearly when you pitch (try to avoid mumbling for instance)

5. Storytelling and emotion
You need to captivate the person you are talking to. Try to tell a personal (or not personal) story to get attention. Use examples, help your
audience get in the skin of your character by building the storyline that guides your pitch all the way.

Pitching well is a continuous journey: the more you will practice, the better you will get at it, and it’s a process of always improving and getting better.

Be confident in what say and be as natural as possible. Don’t worry, everything will go well!

Good luck!

Kevin Tan – Incubation Program Manager