How to Write a Convincing Pitch
As we grow as leaders we start to have bigger and better ideas that we want to get done. We can’t get these things done all by ourselves. We need build support for our ideas and that’s not always easy. How you approach convincing others to join you will affect your success. In the Air Force, I had to make a lot of pitches to leaders who weren’t always on board. I learned the hard way how important it is to prepare for your pitch. These 10 tips will show you how to write a convincing pitch no matter who you’re pitching to. If you want to follow along with the tips in the video, you can get our Pitch Worksheet to help write your amazing pitch with us!
How to Write a Convincing Pitch Tip #1 – Recognize People Don’t Like Change
Human beings don’t like change. To accept change they need to be persuaded and reassured. Keep this thought in mind as you work through the rest of the steps. Understanding the resistance others may have to your idea will help you address their concerns and questions before they arise. You can make your pitch successful by addressing these concerns and questions in your pitch before they come up.
How to Write a Convincing Pitch Tip #2 – Identify the problem
To convince others that your idea is good, present the problem in really clear terms. Not everyone may think that this is a problem. You may have to start your pitch by convincing them that the problem even exists. Don’t think of the problem just in terms of what, talk about it in terms of who has the problem, where these people are, why it’s a problem for them and when this problem becomes big enough to demand a solution. In some cases, your boss may have handed you the problem, but it still helps to run it through these questions to clearly define it.
How to Write a Convincing Pitch Tip #3 – Brainstorm Potential Solutions
Chances are you already have a solution in mind but now that you have really clearly defined your problem, is that solution really the best option? Will others agree that it is the best option or will they have their own ideas? think about alternate solutions that also might solve the problem. Rank them objectively on how well they solve the problem. You may find that your initial idea is still the best or maybe not. Don’t be afraid to break down each idea and take the best elements of each to create new solutions.
How to Write a Convincing Pitch Tip #4 – Identify the Impacts
List the impacts of implementing your solution below. Make sure to include not just what the impact is, but who it will impact, when it will occur, etc. Include both positive and negative impacts. Show the payoff that these impacts will bring to solving the problem.
How to Write a Convincing Pitch Tip #5 – Identify Any Risks
List the risks that will come along with this solution along with what steps can be taken to mitigate the risks. Areas to consider are safety risks, security risks, financial risks, etc. Any area of significant uncertainty should be addressed as well as how it can be minimized along with the associated costs.
How to Write a Convincing Pitch Tip #6 – Address the Views of Others
Before you make your pitch, actively solicit the views of others that your proposal may affect. Find supporters of your idea and ask what they love about it. Also look for objectors and see if there are parts of your solution that can be modified to bring them on board. Decision makers often take these views into account as they consider your pitch.
How to Write a Convincing Pitch Tip #7 – Brainstorm Unintended Consequences
Make a list of all of the things that could go wrong that you haven’t anticipated. This can be difficult and requires some creativity so this is another step that it’s helpful to find a team to help you. Once you have your list, determine if there are steps you can take in your solution that would eliminate or reduce some of these unintended effects.
How to Write a Convincing Pitch Tip #8 – Identify Resources You Need
The cost associated with a new idea is often what makes or breaks it. Identify all of the resources you need to implement your solution including money, people and assets. This is a great opportunity to sharpen your pencil on the solution and find a way to do it at the minimum cost. Showing a lot of value for low cost will set your pitch apart!
How to Write a Convincing Pitch Tip #9 – Show the Path to Implementation
Identify the action steps it will take to bring your solution to reality. Highlight important milestones that require extra attention as well as any decision points you will use to determine if you are on the right track. Show how simultaneous tasks will come together to achieve the overall solution along with how long each task will take.
How to Write a Convincing Pitch Tip #10 – Offer Options
The decision maker that you are pitching to may not be ready or able to buy off on your proposed solution right away. Having multiple options that still solve the problem is a good practice. Look at some of the other solutions you brainstormed earlier and apply the rest of the steps to determine if you have other viable options to consider.
So there are your 10 tips for writing a convincing pitch. This is really the preparation phase of creating a fully formed idea to pitch to others. Next week we’ll talk about how to build that presentation so that you can make all of this hard prep work pay off by convincing others that you have a great idea!