The Perfect Pitch: Advice from a YLAI Fellow

(Courtesy of Meridian International Center)

2016 YLAI Fellow José Reyes founded Estrenón, a for-profit social enterprise that promotes the reuse and recycling of clothing in Mexico. The organization dedicates time and attention to their environmental and social impacts, making sure that 100 percent of the merchandise is purchased from the general public and upholds high safety and hygiene standards. In 2017, Estrenón recycled over 285,000 reused garments. José is highly experienced in marketing, project management and public relations. He is also the winner of the 2016 YLAI Fellowship Pitch Competition. He gave his advice and tips in a recent interview with the YLAI Network team.

What would you recommend to a young entrepreneur who is pitching for the first time?

My advice: Practice, practice and practice! A great pitch is always the one that has been practiced hundreds of times. When you arrive on the stage, you can be nervous, anxious and distracted, but with hard work on practicing it, the memory will follow the path.

How would you define a strong pitch?

That pitch that connects with the audience with a strong story (move their feelings!), explains clearly the problem, solution, business model and vision for the future.

The YLAI Network has tools that help entrepreneurs like José grow their businesses; explore the YLAI Network’s online courses Strategies for Personal Growth and Development (también en español) and Fundamentals of Business Expansion (también en español).

Are there any key strategies or content ideas you always use in a pitch?

Show your idea as a superhero, because it is. What is [your idea] going to improve? What is it going to fight for? How is the world going to be a better place with your idea? Always demonstrate that you, as an entrepreneur, have the passion and the commitment to make it happen.

What are some free tools or strategies you recommend to an entrepreneur who doesn’t necessarily have the resources for special coaching, courses or workshops?

Definitely, YouTube. You can watch great pitches, see pitch decks and follow competitions. You can look for speeches and pitches from great people. Search for Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Gandhi and other entrepreneurs who are or were dedicated to expressing the passion of their ideas.

Check out these other YLAI Professional Fellows and their journey to sell their best business pitches at the 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India. Learn the strategies and practices they credit for their successful pitches.

Why do you think it is so difficult to pitch well?

Lack of enough practice, only that. When you have practiced your pitch 1,000 times, it isn’t possible to fail on stage.

What do you do if you don’t know the answer to a question someone asks during your pitch?

Be honest. You can answer: “That’s a great question. Honestly I hadn’t thought about it, but I will definitely look for that information …”
or “You are right that’s very important. I don’t have the answer right now, but I will study that today to strengthen the model.”
… NEVER LIE!

Does social media play a part in expanding your business opportunities?

Absolutely! With social media you can access new markets that traditionally you wouldn’t. Also, you can buy, sell or find your next investor in social media.

Click here to read more about how telling your story on social media can support your pitch.

What current projects are you working on? How are they going?

We are working on our expansion plan to increase the number of Estrenón branches that we have.

 

To learn more about José and his work at Estrenón, check out their website.

Become a YLAI Network member to learn about more opportunities to improve your business pitch!

 

Este artículo está disponible en español.