Business Pitch Basics

Working Definition

A pitch is a presentation designed to "sell" a concept, product, or outcome to a target audience. There are many kinds of pitches, which vary by length, style, audience, etc.

In the Fairfield StartUp competition you will pitch at least three times: to recruit your team roster (students and mentors), to solicit assistance from sponsors, and to attract funding from investors. Each is a different type of pitch and should be crafted with care to suit the target audience.

Elements of a Pitch

Nearly every business pitch involves the same 5 basic elements:

  • The identity of your company/product
  • The problem you are attempting to solve
  • The proposed solution
  • The key benefit of your solution to your audience
  • A call to action or ("ask")

The nature of each of these elements varies according to the type of pitch. A recruitment pitch should sell the value of joining the team. A sponsor pitch should sell the value of commiting time and money to the project. An investor pitch should sell investors on the team, the product, and the company.

A Useful Strategy for Targeting your Audience

A good practice is to design your pitch by working backwards from your "ask":

  1. Call to action: What is it you want your audience to do for you?
  2. Benefit: What might induce them to do what you ask?
  3. Solution: How can your solution do what you've promise?
  4. Problem: How can you frame the problem so the customer identifies with it?
  5. Identity: How can you make sure the customer remembers you long enough to complete the sale?

Once you've assembled the elements, write your pitch from the beginning to the end, making sure that it flows smoothly from the identity to the call to action within the time allowed.