The Art of Virtual Pitching – a Webinar with Enterprise Development Centre, Nigeria

David delivered a Webinar: “The Art of Virtual Pitching”, hosted by Global Entrepreneurship Network Nigeria and the Enterprise Development Centre, Nigeria.

Art of Virtual Pitching

Contents. Find on this page:

– Video. Part One: General points about making a winning pitch
– Video. Part Two. Ten Top Tips for Virtual Pitching
– Notes of the key points and top tips from the webinar
– Links to other information relevant to the webinar subject
– Link to marketing book with more information
– Free creative business development resources

“It was a pleasure having David facilitate the session on ‘The Art of Virtual Pitching’. We believe the insights of his presentation helped the entrepreneurs and participants gain knowledge on how to deliver a good pitch overall. David’s feedback of the entrepreneurs’ presentations further buttressed the points from the presentation. The comments and feedback from the session were positive and we hope to have David again in the near future.”
Halima Rabiu. Enterprise Development Centre, Nigeria

Video. Part One: General points about making a winning pitch

Video. Part Two. Ten Top Tips for Virtual Pitching

Webinar Notes: The Art of Virtual Pitching 

The webinar addressed pitching in two sections:
1. Key points about pitching in all circumstances
2. Specific tips about pitching in a virtual environment

Ten key points about pitching in all circumstances

1. Different Audiences, Different Pitches
– Pitching might be for equity funding, for a business competition, for a grant, to win a contract for a project, or even for a personal job interview.
– In each case, the pitch needs to be specific to the needs of the audience. (See link below.)
– So we need to research and understand exactly what the audience is looking for – the check box that the audience is using to assess the winning pitch.

2. What’s In It For Me?
– Nobody cares about you and your business! (See link below)
– The “So What?!” test
– Communicate benefits not features; sell the result, not the process
– Start with the end of the story, not the beginning

3. You Are the Solution
– We think that we have a problem: we need funding, a prize, a contract…
– But let’s look at it the other way: the audience has a problem. They need business to invest in; they have to award grants; they need a supplier, etc
– So we should pitch to demonstrate how we are the solution to their problem.

4. Be Your Authentic Self
– Speak in your own voice, using your own style. (See Be Authentic below.)
– The audience is investing in people, not an abstract entity such as a company
– The audience will be able to tell if you are somehow not being your true self

5. What Problem Are You Solving?
– A good way to start any business or project is to find a problem and solve it
– We need to communicate the problem, the solution and the market for it
– Acknowledge the competition and explain your competitive advantage (see link below)

6. Share Your “Why”
– Don’t say what you are doing, express WHY you are doing it
– Tell your story – what gives you the personal passion to deliver
– Ultimately, customers buy into your Why, not your What (see Golden Circle below)

7. Ideas Are Not Enough
– The late multi millionaire Felix Dennis said: “Ideas are not enough, it’s the correct execution of ideas that matters.” (see link below)
– So the audience needs to know How you will deliver your idea as a business
– Explain your business model – how will you generate income from your idea

8. Rehearse Your Pitch
– Structure your pitch then rehearse it aloud to make sure it flows as a pitch
– You can talk using bullet points as a guide, but memorise the beginning and end
– Rehearse the timings to make sure it’s not too long. And allow a good margin

9. End with an Impact
– Craft your ending. A call to action? A clear statement?
– Make it memorable. First and last impressions count most.
– Memorise those final words to make sure you deliver them correctly

10. Provide Further Information
– How will the audience get further information? (Business Plan, details etc)
– Provide it in the right format and accessible – online by email, link
– Have it ready in advance

Ten top tips for pitching in a virtual environment

1. Technical Checks
– Install or update in advance the software you will be using
– Make sure you have a good connection – reliable wifi or hardwired connection
– Log in to the platform early in case of any glitches

2. Backgrounds
– Consider your background: office setting? Home office? Your living room?
– If necessary, create a more professional set-up using panels, blank wall or posters
– Virtual background might be appropriate – see below

3. Lighting
– Don’t have window or strong light behind you which creates a silhouette
– Think about the direction of lighting – as you would in a photo shoot
– Prepare as you would in a photo or film studio

4. Camera Angle
– Nobody wants to look at your ceiling (or your nostrils)!
– Don’t look down at the audience
– Achieve an eye-level look by using a webcam, tripod or even a shelf

5. Eliminate Distractions
– Turn off laptop and mobile phone notifications and alerts
– Find a quiet room as your ‘studio’ or minimise noise from outside
– Put an ‘On Air’ note on the door to prevent accidental interruptions

6. Dress Code
– Dress appropriately for the occasion
– Avoid the temptation to dress well only at the top of your body!
– Wearing a complete outfit helps to put you in the right mindset

7. Eye Contact
– In physical meetings, rapport is achieved with handshakes and eye contact
– Try to look at the laptop camera lens, not the image of your audience
– Stick a photo or other focus point near the camera lens
– The nearer to the camera you are, the more obvious the non-eyecontact

8. Hand Gestures
– Hand gestures are often irrelevant and even distracting when speaking
– Probably your hand gestures will be out of view – or just partly in view
– If hand gestures are important, stay further away from the camera

9. Presentation Slides
– The best presentation slides are always simple and impactful
– Keep them even simpler and even clearer in a virtual pitch
– Consider using virtual backgrounds as slides

10. Screen Sharing
– Think carefully about how necessary it is to use screen sharing. Use only if critical, don’t to try to replicate your regular presentation using screen sharing
– Find the right balance between showing the screen and showing yourself
– Make sure any documents or images to screen share are quickly accessible

Links to further information connected to the key messages of the webinar:

One pitch does not fit all audiences. Different audiences have different interests and therefore need different information.
Use the technique “The 3Ms of Marketing” to devise precise messages for each audience or customer segment.

Nobody cares about you and your business, only what’s in it for them.
Read extract from marketing book ‘Chase One Rabbit: Strategic Marketing for Business Success’ (link)

We need to address the interests of our audience, what they need to know, not what we want to say.
Read this blog post: Features and Benefits: the “So What?!” test.

Be authentic. Be true to yourself and your values, then find customers, partners who are on the same wavelength and ‘get’ you.
Watch video presentation about Authentic Marketing.
Read book section on marketing authentically from ‘Chase One Rabbit: Strategic Marketing for Business Success’ (link).

Competitive Advantage. Identify and exploit your competitive advantage in your business strategy then explain it in your pitch (link).

The Golden Circle: Focus on your ‘Why’. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it” (link).

Ideas are not enough! “Ideas don’t make you rich, the correct execution of ideas does.” (link)

David’s marketing book has a lot more information relevant to pitching.
“Chase One Rabbit: Strategic Marketing for Business Success. 63 Techniques, Tips and Tales for Creative Entrepreneurs”
[eBook / paperback / audiobook / signed copy / info, extracts, reviews]

50 Business and Technology Books from Thinkers360 Thought Leaders

Other free information and resources for creative, cultural and digital businesses are available online here.

Read about other events, webinars, interviews, resources and business advice, which are part of David’s response to the Coronavirus COVID-19 Crisis. The page includes videos of past events as well as notice of forthcoming events, plus some suggestions for future collaborations (more…)