One of the most important pieces of building a successful business is KLT: getting others to Know, Like, and Trust you. By doing so, you'll have a group of people who are excited to refer business to you, purchase from you, and support you long-term.
However, in order to do just that, you'll have to first excel at communicating your business pitch in a variety of settings.
Here are some simple tips to help you improve your presentations, gain your audience's trust, and connect with others in ways that establish you as the go-to expert in your field.
The Full Presentation
We like to consider each format of your business pitch like the rating symbols you see on ski slopes, with the 10-30 minute presentation being the green circle — or the easiest to complete.
While it may seem intimidating to have that much time to deliver your message, you'll be surprised at how easy it is to fill up these minutes when you have a captive audience to present to and a wealth of information to give to them.
These typically take the form of workshops, keynote speeches, or lunch and learns. You'll want to practice this format of presenting at least a few times a year, since it gives you the chance to teach others and show off your expertise. And showing (versus telling) is a fundamental part of the know-like-trust factor that will grow your business.
For a presentation of this length, be sure to provide visuals, such as a slideshow, handouts, or both. You may also want to walk around the room or from one side of the stage to the other to keep your audience engaged for the duration of your presentation.
When you only have 5-10 minutes to pitch your business to prospective buyers and/or referral partners, you're essentially practicing your skills on a blue square ski slope.
For this format, you'll want to cut out the fluff, stories, analogies, or more technical information in order to focus primarily on the "meat" or purpose of your pitch.
Try writing this presentation out by hand or on your computer, and time yourself reading it out loud. If you find that you're going over on time as you practice, examine what you've written and ask yourself if you've focused too heavily on features instead of the benefits you can offer.
While your features (such as commodities, products, or service offerings) help others understand what you do, the benefits (or the outcomes and impacts of those features) allow them to see the value of working with you. With no more than 10 minutes to present, you have just enough time to talk briefly about both of these.
The Elevator Pitch
Think of your one-minute elevator pitch as the black diamond on the ski slopes and your 30-second pitch as the double diamond.
This last set takes time and practice to get it right, but they're essential to excelling in situations like networking events and conferences.
The most common mistake entrepreneurs and business owners make when it comes to the elevator pitch is only communicating features and leaving out the benefits entirely. The key is to do the opposite.
For example, if you offer professional services to other businesses, you may want to craft a pitch that mentions your ability to help them double their revenue, increase their return on investment, or save them time and energy. These benefits are more likely to tug at your audience's emotions: pulling them in, peaking their interest, and leaving them wanting more.
As one of John C. Maxwell's book titles words it: "Everyone communicates, few connect." We all may spend a lot of time talking about ourselves and our businesses, but in order to be known, liked, and trusted by others, we need to learn how to build real connections.
When you practice all four of these presentations and pitches regularly, you'll have a better chance at getting others to know you, like you, and trust you. Because in the end it's not just about selling your products or services — it's about having a positive impact.
Join a Mastermind Group in Lakewood, CO
Whether you need help fine-tuning your presentation skills and elevator pitch, or you want to connect with like-minded business owners nearby, consider joining our Next Level groups!
Next Level groups are about more than networking with other business owners — they provide an opportunity to build a referral network for your clients, connect with trusted advisers to grow your business, and learn new skills to help you reach your goals. Request a consultation online today to see if one of our mastermind groups is a good fit for you!