October 12, 2011 / 12:38 PM / 7 years ago

Management Tip of the Day: Keys to successful pitches

Indian employees at a call centre provide service support to international customers, in the southern city of Bangalore March 17, 2004. REUTERS/Sherwin Crasto

BOSTON (Reuters) - As participants on television’s “Shark Tank” can attest, pitching your ideas is often a humbling experience. But there are some keys to boost your chances of success, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

“Before you make a pitch, remember that investors are more likely to support an entrepreneur who’s professional, well prepared, and knows her numbers.

Here are three tips to be just that:

1. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Before you present, gather background information on prospective investors using Google and social media. If you know your audience you can engage them on a personal level.

2. Tell your business’s story. Start with a persistent problem and then show how your proposition will fix it. Make sure it’s something the investor can relate to.

3. Back up your pitch with data. Investors are primarily interested in facts. Be sure your numbers make sense. Be prepared for in-depth questions on turnover, sales figures, break-even points, and gross and net margins.”

- Today’s management tip was adapted from “Secrets of a Successful Business Pitch” by James Caan.

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