Entrepreneurs (and vcs) are often concerned about how to "pitch" to (other) investors and struggle with questions such as: how long it should be, how to address it, how to start it, how to end it, what is the "perfect example" of a pitch and so on... but they very seldom ask "why do we pitch?". is this not the fundamental question?
In essence, a "pitch" is a structured request for attention, for investment... not for money, rather the investment of other people's TIME. Yes, even when you are MAKING it to investors, you are ONLY pitching for cycles of their time and attention to consider you as a potential investment (any investment cycle is longer than any time you allocate to your pitch), but if you do not show THAT you ARE worth such future time, you will not get there.
To understand it in depth, let's go back to basics on why we "pitch" and fundamentally how we do it effectively.
humans, entrepreneurs or not, practice pitching throughout their lives, even if they don't realise it: from the cry of the baby (by using a high pitch - pun intended - to engage and grab the attention of their caregiver), to the moment they ask someone out on a date.
as the pitch's sole purpose it to assure the time and attention of others, whenever pitching, one should consider the following to be successful:
- who is the person you are pitching to ("the pitched")?
- how were you connected, you ("the pitcher") and the "pitched"?
- how do you intend to follow-up after the pitch?
- how can you stand-out from other "pitchers"?
- what is your interest in "the pitched" and what type of relationship do you have or are you looking for?
Babies', when they cry, for example, intuitively answer it all optimally and in a very objective way, respectively:
- someone that is relatively close or that can be reached by choice;
- parents or any other caregiver;
- keep calm, and likely sleep or laugh (also making the caregiver happy);
- cry louder or with a different pitch, more frequently,...;
- being fed or cleaned, and growing and bonding with the caregiver.
a "baby's pitch" (either cry, laugh, or smile) is an amazing evolutionary step, and can be considered as the "perfect pitch", because:
- it lasts until you meet your objective, but uses understanding of the "pitched's" interests to adapt it to each case and situation;
- goes beyond words and applies other communication tools (including facial and body expressions) understood by the "pitched";
- it is simple and clear, but loud and appealing to the "pitched's" interests (who likes to hear a baby cry? and everyone likes to see them smile);
- it is not always the same (therefore it also does not lose credibility);
- it is deployed at any moment with high efficacy and efficiency;
- it is persistent if need be, and just focuses on adequate follow-ups as soon as the objective of the pitch has been fulfilled;
- brings the "pitcher's" awareness and relevance to the "pitched", standing out even in a crowd (have you ever been on a plane with a child?);
- skips the "whole and boring story" and is straight to the point, which is: why it deserves the "pitched's" time and undivided attention and adequate sense of urgency;
- it is based on the "pitcher's" developed skillset and training, and an understanding of the "pitched" interests (it is not "artificial" or "bought from 3rd parties", rather "individually developed");
- it is the beginning of a relationship and will envolve and adapt as the relationship and the skillset develop.
So, does your pitch envolved to continue to have the "perfect" profile it used to have?