A young woman stands at the front of a conference room, speaking and gesturing with her hands. In the foreground are two people seated at the conference room table; they are seen out-of-focus and from behind. The wall-mounted screen beside the standing woman is partially obscured by the head of one of the seated people.
When preparing your presentation, keep in mind both who you'll be presenting to (your investors) and who you'll be selling to (your customers). — Getty Images/Willie B. Thomas

Innovating a unique idea is only half the battle. To get it to market, you must persuade the right people of your invention’s value — that it’ll solve a problem and be profitable. Expressing your main points while keeping your audience engaged is a skill. You can learn it, but it won’t happen overnight.

Indeed, Gene Luoma, Inventor of the Zip-It drain-cleaning tool, wrote, “Pitching an idea requires planning.” You should come across as an expert and touch on everything your audience needs to know. Plus, it’s essential to rehearse your pitch and pay attention to your body language. Use these tips to prepare to pitch your invention idea.

Know your research inside and out

Before crafting a pitch, you need an excellent grasp of everything related to your invention. This knowledge helps you devise an effective approach and a narrative that creates an emotional connection. Review your feasibility study, invention business plan, and supporting documents. Each offers insights useful to writing your pitch deck.

Learn about your:

  • Current audience: Learn what makes the people in front of you tick. What do they want to get from an investment and expect to hear from you?
  • Customer profile: The more you know about potential buyers, the more equipped you are to explain how your invention improves their lives.
  • Market: Learn about your market’s size and projected growth rate. Then analyze your share of it and how you’ll expand on that.
  • Invention: Even if you’re the inventor, it’s important to think as an outsider and understand any perceived risks or uncertainties.
  • Competitors: Know what you're up against, from brands to product features. This data affects your marketing approach and financials.

[Read more: 10-Point Checklist to Use Before Pitching Investors]

Pitching an idea requires planning.

Gene Luoma, Inventor of the Zip-It drain-cleaning tool

Understand the components of a pitch

Once you have a firm grip on the data, you can personalize your pitch to meet the moment and connect with your audience. However, condensing the most important details of your presentation into a brief pitch takes time and effort. Part of your preparation is figuring out what information adds value to your story and eliminating everything else.

A product pitch for an invention should include:

  • Beginning statement: Hook your audience with an engaging opening line. It should include the most important details about your invention.
  • The problem: Talk about the issue your innovation solves for your customer profile. And if it fills a gap for your investor or corporate audience, mention that too.
  • A connection: Earn their trust by showing that you’ve done your research. Tie your invention to the person in front of you.
  • Invention details: Let your passion come through as you describe your product’s features and characteristics.
  • Prototype: Share your prototype (a tangible version of your digital or physical model) and demonstrate how it works.
  • Data and metrics: Reference facts that increase confidence about the profitability of your invention, including details about your target market and expected margins.
  • Differentiation: Highlight positive aspects from your competitor analysis to show how your invention overcomes the risks.
  • Summary: Reiterate your main takeaway and remind your audience why the market needs your invention.

Practice your execution

According to a study published in the Journal of Business Venturing, “a well-executed pitch can help entrepreneurs to talk their venture into existence.” Your words and visual cues can make or break your presentation. Luoma said, “It’s less about what you say and more about how you say it.” Record yourself pitching or ask another person to grade your performance.

Also, your approach to an online pitch will differ from an in-person presentation. For instance, you may show a 3D model and a video of your model in use instead of a prototype. When pitching via video, you need high-quality visuals and the ability to navigate the presentation tools seamlessly. Regardless of the method, you need to rehearse to ensure a professional and memorable first impression.

[Read more: 9 Steps to Creating a Pitch Deck That Will Set Your Company Apart]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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