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The time has finally come for you to pitch your business idea. You’ve poured your heart and soul into this idea, have likely had many late nights and early mornings, and now you need to convince someone else that your idea is both good and profitable. Giving a pitch can seem intimidating, especially considering that investors have probably heard and turned down hundreds of pitches before yours. Maybe they’ve even heard your idea before, or one similar. Mastering a great pitch is essential for the success of your business. Below are a few key points to keep in mind when pitching your business idea.

Do your research. Going in prepared is arguably one of the most important factors for a successful meeting. You should be able to explain the ins and outs of your idea both professionally and comfortably, and have several different presentations of this idea prepared at a moment’s notice. Think about what types of questions you’ll be asked and have answers prepared. Know your numbers, your projections, and your target audience.

It will be vital to have an eloquently crafted elevator speech that reflects a problem, and how your idea is going to solve that problem for people. Keep in mind during your elevator speech; no one wants to hear about your company history.  

Network. While networking is essential for everyone, it is most critical for investors. You wouldn’t go to a job interview without first researching the company and your interviewer, and the same should apply to your pitch. Investors are investing in you first, not your idea. It’s extremely rare for a starting entrepreneur to approach an expert and win her over with just one pitch meeting. Do as much as you can to connect with investors and build relationships BEFORE your pitch.

Stand tall. As with everything, confidence goes a long way during a business pitch. Stay true to who you are and what you know. According to Barbara Corcoran in this article, honesty is the best policy for success. Not only does is show that you are committed, but it also shows you aren’t afraid to admit mistakes, learn from them, and move forward. Ultimately, this also indicates you will be a viable long-term partner and will lead to investors valuing your time and effort.

Your primary goal is to establish mutual trust. Trust between you and the investor, the business idea, and the future of your success are all essential. Mastering your pitch is not easy, but as the saying goes, practice makes perfect.