Feeling uncertain and nervous about pitching your business idea to a room full of investors or customers? No worries, these feelings are normal. The key is to mentally prepare and take action.(Image: iStock/XiXinXing)
Here are four ways to pitch your ideas with confidence:
Embrace “Impostor Syndrome”
Impostor syndrome is the voice in your head that tells you you’re not qualified or good enough. It makes you feel like you’re a phony or that you don’t measure up. Even the award-winning legendary poet and author Maya Angelou struggled with it. Angelou once said, “I have written 11 books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’
Understand this: You never lose, you learn. We are all in a constant state of learning. So embrace this mindset: I’m not perfect. I don’t have to be, but I’m prepared and ready for my moment.
Anticipate Questions from Your Audience
- Define your space in the market: What problem do you solve for a specific audience? What’s your unique approach to solving that particular problem?
- Why are you better than other businesses in the same industry?
- Why is your product or service unlike anything else in the market?
- Does your solution fix a broken business process? Does it serve an underserved area or population? What are the consequences of not taking action?
Tell a Transformative Story that Builds Trust
Paint a picture of the people who will buy or benefit from your product or service. Focus your key messages around giving or helping them work toward a better way of life. Here are two simple ways to start your story:
- Imagine if…
- What if…
Know Who You Are
“You have to know that you are the only person that can give your customers or buyers what they want,” says Psyche Terry, CEO of UI Global Brands. This goes beyond the product. This is all about you.” Terry also shared these tips with Black Enterprise:
- Be prepared to communicate what you will and won’t stand for.
- Believe in what you are pitching. Have you tried it? Do your friends believe in it? Would your friends give you positive feedback about it? If so, go in with confidence that you are just simply spreading the good word. This helps you feel like you are not looking for a handout.