10 things #BGT can teach you about pitching

Britains Got TalentLike much of the rest of the country, my family will be glued to the final of Britain’s Got Talent this weekend.

It’s addictive and uplifting viewing. And beyond the entertainment, I find myself thinking it’s also a good reminder of what works in a business presentation.

Am I for real in saying that? Well, here are 10 pitch reminders I picked up from the semi-finals…

• You’ve got to have a USP. If you look like all the other acts, there’s no real reason to choose you – however good you are.

• Keep things simple. You need a killer theme that holds the whole performance together. Anything else confuses.

• Be memorable. During the semi-finals I watched all 45 performances, but one week on only a couple stick in the mind.

• Show your passion. If you don’t seem to care about what you do, why should your audience care about you? In a more business (or political) context, Teddy Roosevelt said it brilliantly: “No one cares how much you know, until they know you care.”

• Be true to what you’re good at. If you try to be something you’re not, the judges will buzz you out.

• Make a human connection. The acts with a great human-interest story have an edge over those that don’t.

• That said, I suspect that – in the end – talent will out. However great a personality you’ve got, if the content is absent from your act, you won’t end up on the winner’s podium.

• Remember the big picture. The judges in the room are swayed by what the audience thinks. Be plugged into the ultimate buyers.

• Prepare well – not just for the main act, but for the Q&A section at the end. Saying the right words at that moment can melt hearts and land trophies.

• Never argue with the feedback you’re given. You only come across sounding defensive and crass.

And if you’re interested in who I think will win, well, what do I know? But it might be a close-run thing between Jack Pack and Bars and Melody.

Martin MacConnol is chief executive of Wardour