CEOs and leaders, in today’s hypercompetitive business world, you need to get your pitch right. Whether you’re managing a large corporation, a medium-scale business, or a small start-up, pitching to influencers, partners, investors and customers requires a strategic and tailored approach.

To tap into international markets both now and in the future, you need to distinguish your business angle from other market players and disrupters. You need to make your pitch stand out from the rest. This means you need to know your audience, and tailor your pitch accordingly. An understanding and clear articulation of your key business outcomes and vision is key to this.

Research shows that the first 20 seconds of a pitch will make or break the audience’s interest. This is the ‘elevator pitch’ — the crucial moment where you distinguish your business from the rest.

Pitching to international markets is not only about ‘selling’ your idea, but about getting attention and keeping the pipeline full. Remember that you’re contending not only with local competitors, but global players too.

Traditionally, Australian leaders have struggled to carve out a competitive edge in the international market. We have a tendency to be humble about our successes, relying upon the quality of the product or service to ‘sell itself’. Yet to truly wow the crowd and tap into new markets, a confident, engaging and passionate pitch is vital.

Here are my top five tops for getting your international pitch right from the get-go:

1.    Articulate your vision with confidence

However attractive an idea looks on paper, it’s the delivery of your presentation to an audience — whether it’s influencers, partners, investors, or customers — that will truly ‘sell’ your idea. When you stand in front of people you are selling to, you need to articulate your vision and approach clearly, confidently and concisely. Use succinct, simple language; avoid obscuring your message beneath unnecessary jargon or complex technical terms.

2.    Tell an unforgettable story

From the written word to the spoken word, you need to tell an unforgettable story that captures the listener’s attention and holds it. In today’s hypercompetitive market, it’s crucial to differentiate your approach from others. Think about what makes your approach distinct and different. To tell a story that stands out from the crowd, leverage originality and flair, and align your story to the key outcomes and strategies of your organisation.

3.    Know your audience

An unforgettable pitch is grounded in a deep understanding of your audience — who they are, what they’re looking for, and what they expect from you. When it comes to ‘selling’ to an international market, knowing your audience is especially important. Tailor your material and presentation to the requirements and expectations of your audience. This will ensure that people understand who you are, what you’re trying to achieve, and how your business specifically can help to solve a problem. A personalised approach will drive an emotional connection and deeper engagement with your audience.

4.    Step up and differentiate yourself

CEOs and leaders, although pitching can be daunting, you need to bold, assertive and comfortable talking about your achievements. You need to step up and differentiate yourself and your business. Australian leaders have a tendency to be modest — but to successfully ‘sell’ your ideas, you need to talk confidently about your achievements not only in Australia, but on an international scale. You need to explain exactly how and why your business is relevant to the international market. Don’t be shy about your successes; present them with confidence.

5.    Be genuine, engaging and enthusiastic

It all boils down to this: you can’t fake passion. To create an outstanding pitch, you need to be passionately and wholeheartedly dedicated to your cause. Self-belief, passion and drive are fundamental to this. If you truly believe in yourself and your ability to bring others on board with your business, they will believe in it, too. Be yourself. A genuine, engaging and enthusiastic leader will keep the audience rapt throughout the pitch and build a successful business venture.