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Executive Education

Mastering the Art of Pitching: The Secrets of Crafting a Compelling Narrative for Venture Success

In the world of entrepreneurship and business, the ability to deliver a captivating pitch is often considered an art form. Whether you are seeking funding, pitching a movie idea, or presenting a project, the art of pitching lies in the skillful balance of data, storytelling, curiosity, and a strong call to action. In this article, we delve into the insights shared by Mridula Palat-Becker, who is an experienced entrepreneur, startup founder, storytelling and sales expert, and who teaches in the Scaling for Success open-enrollment program, as she sheds light on the importance of pitching and its nuances in various contexts.

portrait Mridula

Pitching as an art

Pitching is an art and a craft , however there's also a very logical approach to it”. Mridula Becker asserts that successful pitches are not about bombarding potential investors or clients with crowded slides full of data, or detailed information about the company. Instead, a successful pitch engages and educates the audience about the value proposition of a product or service. A well-crafted pitch involves the strategic use of data, storytelling techniques, expert delivery and a compelling call to action to create an exciting and interesting experience. “A good pitch has to have all of those factors expertly delivered, like an art so it doesn't feel like you're being pitched. It feels like you're in the process of something exciting and interesting. You can’t wait to be part of it!,” explains Mridula. Indeed, the human brain is wired to process information presented in a narrative format, making storytelling an essential component of a compelling pitch.

Pitch practice and mastery

When it comes to mastering the art of pitching, practice makes perfect. The more you engage in pitching ventures, the more refined your skills become. However, Mridula emphasizes the importance of tailoring pitches to different audiences and goals. Investors, potential co-founders, consumers, or large companies each require a distinct approach. Factors such as decision-making criteria, audience familiarity with the product or industry, and desired actions must be carefully considered when delivering a pitch.

Components of a great pitch

Mridula highlights the layered nature of an effective pitch, comparing it to a deliciously crafted cake. “A lot goes into it, but not one layer overwhelms, they come together seamlessly to achieve the end goals,” insists Mridula. Each layer represents a crucial aspect that contributes to the overall success of the pitch. A balance between audience relevance, pain point identification, data-driven storytelling, a compelling narrative and a powerful call to action. This intentional approach helps entrepreneurs and executives achieve their desired outcomes, whether it is attracting mentors, securing investments, or seeking valuable advice.

portrait

Context is key

Pitching in a quiet conference room is different from pitching in the real world. Company founders and executives need to be ready to pitch at any time. “You are effectively the best PR person for your venture, the most passionate spokesperson which means that you should have a pitch ready at any moment. You need to quickly read the room, pitching artfully. You never know if you're going to wind up in an elevator with a potential investor,” underlines Mridula. This is exactly where the theme elevator pitch comes from. Between the time that elevator goes from the ground floor, to the 20th floor, you only get a few seconds to deliver a perfect pitch. To get it right, the Scaling for Success program will mimic the environment of a “Shark Tank’. “You hardly get an ideal setting for your pitch. In the program, we are going to make it busy, create a lot of movements, which will make the experience more exciting and real,” Mridula explains.

The pitching module and the key takeaways for participants

As part of the Scaling for Success program, Mridula Becker offers an enriching ‘Pitch Battle’ module that equips participants with the secrets for creating exceptional pitches. Participants are provided with guidelines to evaluate and refine their own pitches, ensuring maximum impact. An exciting aspect of the module is the Battle of Pitches, where a few selected participants get the opportunity to showcase their pitch in front of mock investors, who are industry experts or successful alumni, and the audience in the Shark Tank style setting of course.The winner receives a highly coveted prize—a chance to be featured in the HEC Paris media portfolio. This exposure provides unparalleled publicity and opens doors to a targeted audience of potential customers and investors.

To conclude, participants in the pitching module gain valuable insights into the art and science of pitching. They learn that pitching is not exclusive to a select few; anyone can develop the skills to deliver a compelling pitch. By honing their pitching abilities, company founders and executives become the PR representatives for their ventures, ready to seize every opportunity to present their ideas. The module encourages a supportive learning environment, where continuous improvement and learning on the go are celebrated.

Find out more about the Executive Short Program Scaling for Success designed for people interested in learning how to overcome the challenges of scaling up and grow their venture faster to become an established firm.