The importance of getting your business pitch right: 5 things you should know before pitching


Pitching an idea is a daunting task. It’s an audition. An invitation for others to poke holes and criticise. And it’s unfair too. Pitches aren’t just judged on their merits. We’re swayed by confidence and appearances. We like to categorise others and work out exactly how they fit into the world.

A successful pitch knows this.

They know that not matter how big or small, whether it be convincing someone about where to go for lunch, selling a multi-million-dollar merger, or pitching their own business, they know that people need to be convinced that your idea is the best.

What is a business pitch anyway?

A business pitch isn’t radically different from any other pitch. Its core tenets and purpose – convincing others – is the same. You might hear about elevator pitches, whereby your pitch should last the length of an elevator ride (30-60 seconds), or an investor pitch, where you’re seeking to raise money and need to persuade people to invest. Business pitches can be both of these, and typically include a visual presentation or slide deck to assist the speaker(s) presenting their idea to the other person, panel, team, or whomever their audience is.

To help you make a lasting impression, here are five must-knows before stepping into the spotlight.

Know your audience

Understanding your audience is the cornerstone of any successful pitch. Great pitchers must tailor their message to resonate with their audiences’ needs, interests, and especially pain-points. Adopting a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach will rarely work out. Take time to meticulously research not just industry trends and challenges, but also your audiences’ preferences and backgrounds. Some small research can go a long way by showing you what your judges might be looking for or may be biased towards. Speak the language of your audience and demonstrate how you directly address their unique concerns.

Preparation, preparation, preparation

Be prepared for any and all questions you might be asked. Practise with friends and get them to provide feedback on you and your pitch. In your pitch, you should provide specifics, with a clear plan as to how you will operate your business, and what your audience can offer you. If you have a time limit, practise timing your pitch to ensure you don’t go over time. Anticipate the needs and wants of your audience and prepare for multiple different scenarios, including technical issues.

Stand and deliver

Confidence and clarity are non-negotiable when it comes to delivering a pitch. Maintain eye-contact, speak with confidence, and project your enthusiasm for your business. A compelling pitch engages your audience and instils confidence in what you’re saying. Humans are hard-wired to assess body-language and non-verbal cues. We do this consciously and subconsciously. Tone of voice, posture, and eye-contact are what separate the good from the great.

The follow-up

Be prepared for follow-up questions. People are going to point out flaws and ask you hard-hitting questions you might not even know. And not just questions about the business. You might also be asked about your past projects, mistakes you’ve made, what you’ve learned or what inspires you. If people are sold on your idea, the next thing they want to know is: does this person know what they’re doing? Keep the momentum going to leave a lasting impression and expect to be asked difficult questions. Address key concerns in your pitch itself.

Once upon a time…

People remember stories and not statistics. Weave a compelling narrative that connects your audience emotionally. Add relatability, humanity, and humility. Engage your audience by taking them on a journey and connect it to your pitch. Share your journey or the impact that you’ve had and utilise your audience’s imagination – doing so makes you far more memorable and thus impactful.

Pitch perfect: final notes

A successful business pitch is a combination of the right preparation and delivery. Know your audience, prepare well, story tell with confidence, and anticipate the follow up questions. Understand that while you can’t prepare for everything, you can prepare to the best of your ability.


EI’s 2024 Pitch Night is well underway, with applications for pitchers now closed. The winner receives 6 months of a rent-free workstation, marketing support and free professional business headshots, alongside 25eight’s nationally recognised Pitch Training Program, which prepares pitchers for the big night on March 19.

Support our pitchers and register to attend EI’s pitch night as an audience member here.


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