Crafting a memorable pitch

Recently, we (John and I) joined Sabah Got Ideas (a pitching competition organized by SATA) and we unexpectedly ended up in the top 6. That was awesome! Something else was awesome too. We realized that our pitch was one of the more memorable ones. Some refer to us as the guys who are building the second wife. Another one even ask if it could replace his real wife.

We pitched what we dubbed a 'Wife in your pocket'. It's a mobile budgeting application that's a little different than the rest. We want you to consult it before purchasing anything similar to asking your wife for permission to buy the latest gadget.

Of course, I wouldn't say we are an expert at pitching as this is only our second time trying to present our ideas to the world. But I do want to share what I think were important factors that made our pitch memorable.

  1.  Tell a story - One of the best way to start a speech is to tell a story. I think it works well in presentation too. John started with a story about buying coffee at Starbucks.
  2. Relate to them - The reason why a story works so well is that the audience can easily relate to it. It also makes it easier for them to follow and understand what you are trying to tell them.
  3. The elevator pitch - Our 'Wife in your pocket' tag line actually came up when we were trying to shorten our pitch to just 60 seconds. Known as the elevator pitch, (time you have before the person gets off the lift) this is useful in helping to compress your message.
  4. Make an impact - Try to get a reaction from the audience. Laughter is a good reaction. If you got a reaction from the audience, it means they are paying attention and that's what you want. Tell a joke, show a funny picture or call your app a 'Wife in your pocket'.
  5. Practice, practice, practice - Both of us probably rehearsed 20-30 times by ourselves and another 10-15 times together. Because you have limited time, (5 minutes in our case) you need to make sure everything goes smoothly. Remember, even Steve Jobs practice and rehearse before he goes on stage.
  6. Slides should complement your presentation - It is also very important to remember that the audience is there to listen to YOU, not read from your slides. (obviously you shouldn't too) The slides are there to help you deliver your message better. They are not the messenger, that's your job.

These are just some of the points you should keep in mind when preparing your next pitch. Pitching isn't science so there are many ways to deliver a memorable one. Happy pitching!