What do you do?

You’ve probably been asked this question a million times. By your clients, at the gym, by your cab driver and even at bars & restaurants. But what answer do you give them?

Do you just give them your job title? Do you try and describe your job role?

Is your answer consistent every single time? Or do you tailor each answer according to the person who asks you?

At KPI, we believe when you get asked the question “What do you do?”, your pitch is the ONLY answer.

Pitching is your ability to clearly communicate your message in a way that enrols and influences people towards your ideas. It’s a vitally important strength for any leader or entrepreneur. If you have something of great value to offer but no one can understand it, you’re stuck.

When you know the foundations of your pitch, life and business gets easier. With strong foundations in place, you can easily give a talk, write a brochure, create a new product, author a book, record a video or do a deal.

The most important next step is using these foundations in a logical order to share your ideas with others in a way that allows them to follow your vision. Let’s look at the steps to structuring a game changing pitch.

Be clear and credible.

Your pitch must be clear to your audience. They need to understand who you are and why you are worth listening to. You might state something that reinforces yourself or you might be introduced by a respected friend. If the person doesn’t think you’re credible in the first few seconds, then you’ve already lost their interest.

Articulate the problem.

People don’t buy anything unless it solves a problem. They might not describe it that way; they might say they have a need, a want or a desire. The deeper truth is they only buy things that fix an unmet need.

There is no value in coming up with an idea that doesn’t solve a problem in a better way than is currently available. There’s no point pitching an idea unless you understand what the problem is that you’re able to resolve.

The impact of the problem.

You need to get across that the problem impacts more areas of life than one might first think. You need to project forward into the future and stipulate what can arise if this problem isn’t dealt with. For your pitch to have real power and value for others, they need to see your idea is inspired by a genuine insight.

Problems can be backed up with any insights you have, such as, a customer insight – you might have experienced terrible service as a customer and you go about solving this problem.

A technology insight – you’ve spotted a way to use or create technology that solves a real problem or offers a brand new benefit to people. An industry insight – you know your niche so well that you’ve been able to figure out how things should be done better, faster, cheaper and more consistently.

Give the solution to the problem and back it up.

Suggest that you have a way of solving this problem and share your ideas freely. Educate people on the key insight you have for making sure this problem is solved properly.

For example, a dentist would talk about creating the perfect smile, removing people from pain or extending the life of youthful, clean teeth. I recommend you have three core benefits that others will experience as a result of working with you.

You need to also back this solution up with some proof that it’s a good idea. You can maybe have a highly respected person vouch for you or provide some statistics on a case that adds weight to what you’re saying.

Ask for what you want. (And don’t be shy).

Finally, be specific, be bold and be clear about what you want and why. Once people know why you want to do something and what it will do for others, they will start to follow your vision.

Leave people uplifted.

Never finish a pitch on a flat note. You want to finish with a story, an idea or a vision for the future that gets people excited. People don’t often remember everything you said but they will surely remember the way you left them feeling.

Use this structure to write out a pitch and rehearse it. It might seem a little too structured at first; however, with practice you will develop so much clarity in your own mind that you will be able to talk about your idea naturally and still hit these bases in the right order.

If your pitch sounds too rehearsed, you haven’t rehearsed it enough.