As an investor on ABC's "Shark Tank," Kevin O'Leary has heard a decade of pitches — the good, the bad and the wacky. If anyone knows the perfect pitch, it's him.
In fact, there's a three-part formula to a successful pitch, O'Leary tells CNBC Make It.
"[It] doesn't determine the outcome of the business," O'Leary notes. "But these three are found in every case where an entrepreneur is successful in getting money."
Here's how to get an investor to write you a check, according to O'Leary:
"You have to explain exactly what the business is in less than 90 seconds," O'Leary tells CNBC Make It.
"If you can't do that, you'll never be successful. You have to be succinct about the opportunity."
"You have to explain why you're the right person to execute the business plan," O'Leary tells CNBC Make It.
That can be anything from experience in the industry to working for a competitor or even what you've learned from past failures and mistakes.
"You've got a good idea, now, who's going to run the show? Is it you? You've got to tell me why.
"A great idea with a great entrepreneur with executional skills are the first two elements," he says.
The final element is what O'Leary calls "the killer."
"You have to know your numbers," he says.
You need to be able to tell potential investors how big the market is, how fast it's growing, how many competitors there are, the break-even analysis — and more.
You have to have that down-pat; if not, your pitch falls apart.
"If you get the first two right, and you don't know your numbers, you deserve to burn in purgatory, and I will put you there," O'Leary says.
"Those three together define leadership and business," says O'Leary.
"If you want to be an entrepreneur, if you want to be successful, you have to do all three. So start practicing."
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Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank."