I’ve just watched “The Dragons Guide to Pitching and Presentation: How to Win in The Den”. Just thought I’d quickly write down the tips that were featured in the show. You never know when this info will come in handy, especially as it can be applied to all forms of public speaking.

1 – Make an impression

You only have one chance to make a first impression. Get their attention. Get them excited. Don’t overdo it though. It’s easy to be more style than substance if you’re not careful.

2 -Rehearse

This one is a no-brainer. We’ve all seen people dry up in excruciatingly embarrassing style on Dragons Den. So to make sure it’s not you next time – practice, practice, practice. Rehearse in front of a group. Know your figures inside out, and if you’re demonstrating a product make sure that nothing can go wrong. Prepare for every eventuality. Then take a sip of water, stand up straight, take a deep breath and begin.

3 – Don’t Offend Your Audience

Be polite. Listen to feedback. Don’t be over-confident (i.e. arrogant). Don’t offer business lessons to people who are clearly more successful than you are.

4 – Be Passionate

If you don’t believe in your product then it’s unlikely the person you’re pitching to will believe in it either. But it’s a tricky one to get right. Over-enthusiasm can result in putting off your audience and make them think you can’t separate what’s going on in your head and heart.

5 – Be honest and credible

Don’t try to be something you’re not. Don’t oversell. Be direct. Be honest. Don’t lie, don’t embellish, and don’t wing it. They’ll know. Your future investor must be able to believe in you, and trust you. The second they suspect you’re not being honest with them the deal is off.

So, if you have a solid business plan, and present yourself with these 5 tips in mind, you’re sure to make a good impression at your next pitch.

The perfect pitch?

Wondering which pitch the Dragons considered to be the best? It’s this pitch from Kirsty Henshaw of Worthenshaws Ice Cream.

Finally, I’ve written about how your “good idea” is a very different thing to a “good business”, and also how to go through a simple process to validate your business idea in such a way that you remove a LOT of the risk of launching.