Some people use Kickstarter campaigns and loans to fund their business ventures. But 13-time National Elevator Pitch Champion and 2013 Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch Competition winner Precious Williams used her gift of gab to win more than $150,000 toward her business pursuits.
Precious Williams, bestselling-author and CEO of Perfect Pitches by Precious L.L.C., used her powerful presentation skills to take her business, Curvy Girlz Lingerie, around the world and empower women who wanted to feel sexy in their curvaceous bodies. She used data, stories, and creativity to attract large-scale companies who wanted to partner with her. Now, she’s earned the title of being a nationally recognized pitch master and has been a featured guest on large stages to share her pitching strategies with other business owners.
Recently, Williams sat on a panel at the QuickBooks Connect 2019 conference to share insights on how you can use your voice to attract investors who believe in your vision. Black Enterprise caught up with Williams to discuss the secret sauce for business owners who want to deliver a profitable presentation.
MASTER YOUR STORY
Williams shares that people want to know more about you than what you do. “You have to put together a clear and concise pitch that will knock their socks off,” says Williams. “Who you are is more important than what you do. Telling a story helps people get to know more about you and you become more than just a robot.”
During the QuickBooks panel discussion, Williams talked about how she used her story and statistics to attract investors to her business. “I talked about curvy women and people forgetting that they exist and they need love too. There are over 40 million women who are size 14 or larger in the United States. You have to think about how you dress up all these details into a sexy story that showcases why curvy women need sexy, stylish and fashion-forward lingerie.”
BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND
Before you design your elevator pitch, think about what your overall goal is and your purpose. Identify what you would like to achieve and then work backward to manifest that vision.
Williams recommends that you start by asking these questions:
- Do I want to win a competition?
- Do I want to get to the movers and shakers in the room who can invest at a higher level?
- Do I want to get into various media outlets?
- Do I want to obtain paid speaking engagements?
- Do I want to get my name, brand, book, or product out there?
“Think about what your overall goal is because that will help you write the pitch,” she says. “If you know what your goal is, your strategy becomes clearer. You know what you are focused on and you can proceed accordingly.”
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
“Know and study your audience,” Williams says. “Find out who you are pitching in front of. For example, if you know you are speaking to finance professionals, you better be dropping statistics in your story.”
Williams also shares how important it is to understand what your audience needs. “Don’t just understand what your audience wants. A lot of people want to be told the same stuff over and over again. But a lot of other people want to learn something new, hot, and fresh. So, if you tell them what they need and want, you’ll knock their socks off.”
Once you have researched your audience, Williams recommends that you “set a scene in the audience’s mind of where you want them to go. It will make you stand out in ways you never dreamed of.”