Having a compelling story
I started my business because I was a curvy woman who couldn’t find beautiful, stylish or fashion forward lingerie in my size. After polling other curvy women, I knew there was a niche market and a demand for intimate apparel that catered to these women. I have noticed that judges and audiences really connect with stories that are emotional, heartfelt, and real.
Know your audience
As I prepare for pitch competitions, I am very clear on who the judges and/or audience will be in attendance. For example, if I speak to judges who have a financial background, I find that they are most concerned about statistics, money and the target market. If I am speaking to judges from other arenas in business or a general audience, they are more inclined to be more engaged with who I am as a person, why I started my business and why I think it will be successful.
Speak with passion and conviction
No one knows your business better than you, so, you better bring your unique energy to the table. Whenever I give a pitch, I think about how to convey more than just “Big Girls need sexy lingerie.” The fact that I researched my business thoroughly and can talk about it intelligently makes me a better pitcher than someone who just thinks their business idea is great.
Be clear about your target market
You cannot hope to sell to everyone. You have to know who your target market is and know why they will want to buy from you. My target market is professional women of color. Research indicates that we are an untapped market and we have a buying power that will increase by 4.6% annually.
Practice, practice, practice…
I practice for hours, everyday, weeks before an event. Also, you have to be yourself. I know who I am and I am comfortable in my own skin. People are drawn to people who are authentic, so, even when those presenters make mistakes, audiences are still engaged. You are your best asset so use yourself to your advantage.