How to Start Your Pitch? Focus on the Problem


Tell your Story

Deciding on how to start your pitch is hard.  Why not start by telling your audience a story.  Identify the problem first, then provide the solution.  Many entrepreneurs want to sell you the solution first by talking about their product.  But they never even state what the problem they are trying to solve.  It’s normal and we might do it because we think it’s natural.

What if the audience never understood the solution then your pitch is just another confusing pitch.  Tell them as story by describing the problem.  You want to have an emotional connection with the audience and draw them in.  When a problem is being presented our natural reaction is to try figure out how to solve it ourselves.  Because we might have the same problem or know someone else who does.  See what just happened.  We’re engaged and you just got our attention.

Emotional Context

Dave McClure calls this “emotional context” with the audience (see point 2, but the whole article is super useful!).  He told a story about his friend who broke his wrist.  He would bring the listener on the journey as he described his friend’s painful car trip to the hospital.  At the end of the story McClure said “I’ve shared with you a problem, I’ve taken you through an emotional experience, perhaps even one you know personally”, he continues. “So you have all these ideas running around your head, and I haven’t even told you about the solution yet. But I probably have your attention, and we now have a shared emotional context”.

Coming up with a solution is the easy part because you are going to do that anyways.  As to McClure’s friend, the problem was the broken wrist and the solution can be number of things: Vicodin, hard cast, hospital, doctor, etc.  Connect with the audience first by telling them the problem, then the solution.