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Entrepreneurs will get a chance to make an on-stage pitch at the Business Awards in May


Pitch: John Ferris, manager at Ulster Bank

Pitch: John Ferris, manager at Ulster Bank

Pitch: John Ferris, manager at Ulster Bank

An on-stage pitching competition will feature at the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards in partnership with Ulster Bank on May 26.

Four shortlisted entrepreneurs will present a live business pitch as part of the awards show on May with guests then voting for the best presentation.

The overall winner will receive a cash prize package to further invest in their business as well as a place on Ulster Bank’s Accelerator programme and the chance to meet influential and successful business leaders.

John Ferris, regional eco-system manager with Ulster Bank, said: “Pitching is a vital tool for any business or entrepreneur. Get it right and it can be the key to unlocking investment or securing new growth opportunities.

"With pitching, the stakes can quite often be high, so it is little wonder many find them to be a daunting, stressful experience.

“On the Ulster Bank Entrepreneur Accelerator we spend a lot of time coaching our group of entrepreneurs on the art of the pitch so it is welcome that as part of our support for the Business Awards, we are giving people the chance to showcase their business and the opportunity to take their business to the next level.”

Applicants are invited to send their initial one-minute video pitch via WhatsApp to 07841 100025 by 5pm on March 25. The Ulster Bank Accelerator team and members of this year’s awards judging panel will shortlist four finalists who will each present a one-minute pitch on the night. The guest audience will then select the ultimate winner with a live vote.

John added: “The most important thing is to keep your pitch within the one-minute time frame.

"Longer entries will not be judged beyond 60 seconds so it’s crucial you don’t end mid-sentence or before you have got your ask in.

"Part of the skill of pitching is to deliver it in a succinct and persuasive manner so time yourself, cut things down and don’t be afraid to edit.”

He said a pitch was like a film trailer. “You create a story to engage people, whet their appetite and leave them wanting more.

"Try not to over-complicate your pitch and remember you need buy-in from your audience within the first 10 or 12 seconds.

"Figure out what it is you want from those you are pitching to and remember to ask for it. Using the first couple of seconds to capture people’s imagination or gain intrigue can help to make a connection with the audience and interesting facts or alarming statistics can be a good way to achieve this.”

And he advised writing down a one-minute pitch with around 120 to 150 words.

To find out more about this year’s Belfast Telegraph Business Awards in partnership with Ulster Bank visit www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/businessawards/enter. More information on the Ulster Bank Accelerator programme is available at www.ulsterbank.co.uk/accelerator

The competition goes live on March 1. Get your one-minute video in by March 25 via WhatsApp to 07841 100025. The winner will be announced after a live pitching session at the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards on May 26 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast.

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