What Motherhood Taught Me About Perfecting a Business Pitch

I’ve worn many different hats in my lifetime: Silicon Valley tech executive, business founder, single mom and CEO, but no matter the role, effective communication is a skill that proves its worth in any setting. In 2011, when I left my career as a high-level executive in corporate America to start my own company, SupportPay, all while raising a child as a single mother, I no longer had time to sugarcoat things. Whether it was a strategy to get the attention of investors or the reasoning behind why my daughter couldn’t have her friend stay the night, I learned quickly how valuable succinct and to-the-point messaging can be. It was this honest, straightforward mindset that ultimately helped me master a business pitch. After all, in this fast-paced world, where there is always another meeting to get to and another email to read, summarizing what my company is all about and shaping that conversation to fit a one-, three- or five-minute pitch is how I managed to secure critical funding.

Whether you’re working to secure seed capital for a startup, joining an accelerator, or finding business partners to bring a strategy to life, a compelling pitch that remains respectful of others’ time is beyond vital. Here’s how I crafted air-tight versions that include exactly what’s needed, while leaving tired buzzwords behind.

1. Determine values and goals, and stick to them

Perhaps it goes without saying, but to begin crafting the points you want to convey in a maximum of five minutes, you must first nail down your brand’s core principles. After going through a divorce, followed by a bad “breakup” with my own company (wherein investors edged me out of the picture), ensuring that my values aligned with those of the people I surrounded myself with became a priority. I may have learned my lesson the hard way, but once I was able to buy my company back, it was non-negotiable that my next investors’ funding and exit philosophies be aligned with mine. 

These values drive every decision I make as a parent, a leader and a woman in business. Just as I want my daughter to understand what’s at the heart of my actions, I want my employees to understand it, too — my values need to radiate from top to bottom.

2. Stick to your strategy, but be prepared to pivot

When creating a pitch, I try to follow the “SCIPAB” method, introduced to me by Mandell Communications when I was an executive at Veritas. It stands for “situation, complication, implication, position, action and benefit.” Once you have the basic points for each of these areas, you can choose which details to add or remove accordingly, depending on the time you are allotted. It’s an approach that has allowed me to win more than 20 pitch competitions, it informed the strategy I used when working to secure funding for SupportPay, and it’s what I teach my employees and sales team. 

When it comes to pivoting, though, while Silicon Valley prepared me to be quick on my feet and come up with creative solutions in the face of adversity, nothing prepares you for things not going according to plan quite like parenting. As a mother, of course, I always have a strategy in place — whether for getting out the door in the morning, to making it to school on time, to what dinner will be that night. But when I forget to defrost the chicken, we still have to eat! At work, when schedules change and my time gets cut short minutes before I’m about to head into a meeting to present a pitch, I’ll always have a list of details I can take or leave.

3. Less is more 

Think of a pitch as the trailer for your favorite movie: you want to give an audience just enough to pique their interest, and to complete whatever action you’re pushing for. Leave details for later, and include only what will grab attention. This means skipping the jargon;  too many times individuals will load up a very short pitch with a bunch of buzzwords no one understands, but the truth is, if a teenager can’t comprehend what you’re saying, it’s likely no one else will either. The best way to ensure delivering clear, concise but still compelling messaging is to practice on someone who knows nothing about your business. Let them tell you what’s working and what still needs work.

Being concise also means sticking to a time limit. If you have one minute to give a pitch, make it 55 seconds. An audience will always expect you to go longer, so make them pleasantly surprised when you get to the point without wasting a single second. Zoom meetings make staying on time easier than ever before, so keep an on-screen stopwatch in front of you and you can’t go wrong.

4. Make it mutual 

The whole point of a business pitch is to show an audience what your idea can do for them — how it can make them more money, can act as a solution to their problem and be a stepping stone to future opportunities. Clearly outlining the value your company provides not only makes it easier to cut down on time, but also puts the focus on who you’re pitching by directly calling out how they can benefit. If you aren’t detailing what your business can do for them, you might as well be practicing in front of a mirror.

Everyone likes to feel important, and making an audience seem like an integral part of your business’s success can end up being what ultimately pushes them to complete an action. My daughter, for example, knows how to “make things mutual” very well. She recently came to me asking for her first car, and while that’s a big investment, made certain to mention that I’m not always available to drive her to practice or to a friend’s house, and that it would be a big help to me, too. In other words, she pitched me her goal by showing how it’d solve one of my problems as a single mother. (I wonder where she learned that from?)

Final thoughts

After having my daughter, I realized that if I was going to spend so much time away from her, then I wanted to work on something that would make a difference in the world. Starting SupportPay has helped me achieve a goal of helping millions of parents and children as well as demonstrating to my child that anything is possible if you are willing to work hard for it…but none of this would exist if not for the pitch that started it all.

All in all, while my many years as a Silicon Valley tech executive prepared me to pivot, keep things clear and concise and show my audience how they fit into the big picture, I have my daughter to thank for shaping me into the leader I am today. I spot such lessons motherhood has taught me in my business daily.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Netflix Employees Walk Out Over Dave Chappelle Special

Some Netflix employees walked out Wednesday in protest of the latest comedy special from Dave Chappelle, The Closer, which features jokes about transgender people. They and allies rallied and chanted, ... Read more »

Mariah Carey Encourages Women to Enter the Crypto Game, Support Black Girls Code

Mariah Carey is partnering with cryptocurrency platform Gemini on a new campaign aiming at making the asset class less daunting and more accessible to women. Jamie McCarthy | Getty Images According to Gemini, ... Read more »

Popeyes' New Collaboration With Megan Thee Stallion Just Broke the Internet

Real hot girl chicken! Scott Olson | Getty Images The iconic chicken chain has teamed up with Grammy Award-winning rapper and social media icon Megan Thee Stallion for a full ... Read more »

This Is Why My Dad Always Had a Full Tank Of Gas In 1973

In 1973 there was a huge oil crisis. How huge? Imagine the price of a gallon of gas rising almost 50% in just a few months. Imagine President Biden — as President ... Read more »

SpaceX Will Make Elon Musk a Trillionaire, According to Predictions

Elon Musk is currently the world’s richest person, with a net worth of $242 billion. And according to an expert at investment-banking company Morgan Stanley, that number is well-positioned to get even ... Read more »

First Western (MYFW) Q3 Earnings and Revenues Beat Estimates

First Western (MYFW) came out with quarterly earnings of $0.81 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.69 per share. This compares to earnings of $1.20 per share a ... Read more »

Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

In the latest trading session, Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) closed at $608.41, marking a +0.46% move from the previous day. This move outpaced the S&P 500’s daily gain of 0.3%. ... Read more »

Bay Commercial Bank (BCML) Meets Q3 Earnings Estimates

Bay Commercial Bank (BCML) came out with quarterly earnings of $0.51 per share, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. This compares to earnings of $0.27 per share a year ... Read more »

TrustCo Bank (TRST) Beats Q3 Earnings Estimates

TrustCo Bank (TRST) came out with quarterly earnings of $0.87 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.72 per share. This compares to earnings of $0.75 per share a ... Read more »

Volkswagen AG (VWAGY) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

Volkswagen AG (VWAGY) closed at $32 in the latest trading session, marking a +1.62% move from the prior day. This change outpaced the S&P 500’s 0.3% gain on the day. ... Read more »

Colony Bankcorp (CBAN) Beats Q3 Earnings and Revenue Estimates

Colony Bankcorp (CBAN) came out with quarterly earnings of $0.57 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.30 per share. This compares to earnings of $0.39 per share a ... Read more »

Bar Harbor Bankshares (BHB) Beats Q3 Earnings and Revenue Estimates

Bar Harbor Bankshares (BHB) came out with quarterly earnings of $0.73 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.63 per share. This compares to earnings of $0.61 per share ... Read more »

Sigma Labs, Inc. (SGLB) Reports Q3 Loss, Tops Revenue Estimates

Sigma Labs, Inc. (SGLB) came out with a quarterly loss of $0.24 per share versus the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $0.12. This compares to loss of $0.42 ... Read more »

Shell Oil (RDS.A) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know

Shell Oil (RDS.A) closed at $48.85 in the latest trading session, marking a -1.19% move from the prior day. This change lagged the S&P 500’s daily gain of 0.3%. – ... Read more »

SVB Financial (SIVB) Q3 Earnings and Revenues Beat Estimates

SVB Financial (SIVB) came out with quarterly earnings of $7.26 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5.06 per share. This compares to earnings of $8.47 per share a ... Read more »

Twilio (TWLO) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

In the latest trading session, Twilio (TWLO) closed at $369.23, marking a +0.72% move from the previous day. This move outpaced the S&P 500’s daily gain of 0.3%. – Zacks ... Read more »

Boston Beer (SAM) Q3 Earnings Lag Estimates

Boston Beer (SAM) came out with quarterly earnings of $2.97 per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.04 per share. This compares to earnings of $6.10 per share a ... Read more »

Texas Instruments (TXN) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

Texas Instruments (TXN) closed the most recent trading day at $201.29, moving +0.96% from the previous trading session. This change outpaced the S&P 500’s 0.3% gain on the day. – ... Read more »

Alpine Income (PINE) Q3 FFO and Revenues Surpass Estimates

Alpine Income (PINE) came out with quarterly funds from operations (FFO) of $0.37 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.35 per share. This compares to FFO of $0.35 ... Read more »

Want to Become a Millionaire? Follow Warren Buffett's 4 Rules.

How many entrepreneurs are as confident now as they were before the Covid-19 pandemic began? Yes, we know the majority of the S&P 500 are companies that began in down ... Read more »

Capstar Financial (CSTR) Surpasses Q3 Earnings and Revenue Estimates

Capstar Financial (CSTR) came out with quarterly earnings of $0.59 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.50 per share. This compares to earnings of $0.43 per share a ... Read more »

SL Green (SLG) Q3 FFO Surpasses, Revenues Miss Estimates

SL Green Realty Corp. SLG delivered third-quarter 2021 funds from operations (FFO) per share of $1.78, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.58. Further, the reported figure compares favorably with ... Read more »

Bookingjini Raises $1.2 Mn From Mumbai Angels Network

Mumbai Angels Network, a startup investment platform for early-stage venture investments, announced to have invested $1.2 million out of a total investment of $3.3 million in Bookingjini, a hospitality SaaS ... Read more »

Crown Castle (CCI) Surpasses Q3 FFO and Revenue Estimates

Crown Castle International Corp.’s CCI third-quarter 2021 adjusted funds from operations (AFFO) per share of $1.77 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.72. Moreover, the figure came in 13% higher ... Read more »

Having More than Once Source of Income Can Make You Rich. Here's How to Make it Happen

Did you know that really rich people rely on several sources of income — not just one?  Depositphotos.com contributor/Depositphotos.com – MarketBeat The reality is that a total of 54% of ... Read more »

Old Second Bancorp (OSBC) Q3 Earnings and Revenues Surpass Estimates

Old Second Bancorp (OSBC) came out with quarterly earnings of $0.29 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.28 per share. This compares to earnings of $0.34 per share ... Read more »

Edtech Startup Questt Raises $6.75 Mn In Series A Fund

Questt, an edtech startup, focused on improving learning outcomes by enabling predictive and adaptive learning, on Thursday announced that it has raised $6.75 million in Series A funds. The round ... Read more »

3 Transportation Stocks That Could Deliver Big Gains

As we head into earnings season again, one of the things investors are going to hear over and over again is how supply chain issues are impacting all different types ... Read more »

CSX Surpasses Q3 Earnings & Revenue Estimates, Shares Gain

CSX Corporation’s CSX third-quarter 2021 earnings of 43 cents per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 38 cents. The bottom line surged 34.4% year over year owing to higher ... Read more »

Risk-management Platform Rubix Data Sciences Raises Funding From Cactus Venture Partners

Cactus Venture Partners (CVP), a purpose-driven, early growth stage venture capital fund has announced pre-Series A investment in Rubix Data Sciences, technology and analytics-driven B2B risk management and monitoring platform, ... Read more »

Doyobi Raises $2.8 Mn Pre-Series A Led By Monk's Hill Ventures

Doyobi, a provider of STEM teaching resources and teacher professional development to schools through its virtual learning environment (VLE), recently announced it has closed a $2.8 million Pre-Series A round ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic