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Pitching is not the same as marketing, although some of the principles of pitching can be used in marketing. Pitching is how you describe your business idea to prospective investors, prospective partners, to your friends and family – and, yes, also to prospective customers (which is where pitching becomes a form of marketing).
If someone asked your parents what your business does, what would they say? If that question worries you – you need to work on your pitch – and try it out on your parents.
A pitch is a cleverly organized and deliberately delivered message about your business, product or service. When it‘s really well done, a pitch will seem natural and the audience will not notice all the work that went into it. You need to make it look easy. You also need to avoid cliches and sounding like everyone else at all costs. Don‘t describe your product or service using the same words as your competition. Try to flip things and describe the opposite.
Guy Kawasaki offers some guidelines for creating a strong pitch:
Start with a “punch” to grap attention.
Avoid industry jargon and make everything as plain and simple as possible.
Catalyze fantasy, tell a story that will get the audience to dream of a better future (meaning and social responsibility).
Finish strong, save something great for the end.
Then practice, practice, practice. Remember, you want your pitch to simultaneously pack a lot of punch and look effortless.