As you can see, startups became quite popular. In 2020, almost every user has a couple of ideas to present. As a result, such things as startup events are also in use. Visiting one of such meetings, a young businessman does their best to stand out from the crowd. Without a doubt, you already know a lot about these events. In fact, the winner gets not the attention only. The main prize is getting a strong partnership with an investor. Sooner or later, that’s what any idea requires. In case you are about to develop your project, this post is just what the doctor ordered. Why? Well, because the book will tell you about all the secrets of today’s pitching. Why do you need it? Let’s see!
First things first, let’s give the definition to this trendy word. Basically, a pitch is the name of all the actions a startuper does to sell their product. Pitch is the ability to present your idea and the main task of pitching is to create an eye-catching and wallet-opening promo. How can you do it? Well, this is what this article is going to teach you.
So, to sum everything up, pitch is the performance you make during a startup event to grab the attention of potential investor or investors. It can include any kind of visual presentation. Working on a pitch, remember that whatever you do, you do it for one reason – to sell something. You may want to sell such things as:
So, now you know what pitching is and why you need it. But what about the person you are meant to impress? Talking about startup competitions, your potential viewer is an investor. Let’s say that it’s a rich person, which is ready to invest their money into your project/ idea/ startup. However, pitching is a pretty deep term. Its usage is more than just startup competitions.
In a word, you can use pitching whenever you need to get support.
To begin with, Pitching can be divided into 3 main types depending on the form and the lengths of your performance. There’s another classification you can use and we’ll move to it in the next paragraph. So, as it has already been mentioned, there are 3 types of pitching:
Now, let’s discuss each of them. Although these definitions may look boring, you need to know all of them to get success. Your first step will be finding your own perfect pitch form, so let’s see what variants you have here.
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Everything is pretty much clear with the ways to make an excellent presentation. However, when you want to make anything spotless you have to know the very things that can ruin it. In other words, you must know all the mistakes you might make (and you definitely will make those especially if it’s your first time making a pitch presentation) in order to avoid it. So what are the common mistakes you have to avoid at all costs? Well, here they come.
1. Using phrases such as “in other words” or “to put it simply”. These words make most people think that the speaker considers them stupid. Thus, such an attitude might lead to the loss of interest in your startup. At the same time, you have to give all the information in the way that all the people you are presenting it to will get your point. So feel free to explain difficult details in simple words yet avoid mentioning that you are doing that to your investors.
2. Reading your slides. First of all, investors can read your slides themselves, which means that they don’t need your help with that. Secondly, you have to literally sell your startup, you have to make people trust you and believe in your project, after all, you need their money, so you have to persuade them to give their money to you, not anybody else. Believe me, there is a whole bunch of people who can take your place and funding, so you have to work hard, which means that reading is not an option. You have to know every little detail about your project as well as be able to TELL those to your investors, so they would eventually say, “Shut up and take my money!”.
3. Neglecting practicing. Nobody can give a stunning speech right away, so you’ll have to work hard on your speech (which involves reviewing it at least three times and making several drafts), learn it by heart, and practice it countless number of times. Rehearse it in front of a mirror, try it on your family members and friends, or record it on video. Constant practicing will make you feel more confident and, as a result, you will avoid sweating, stuttering, forgetting about important information that had to be mentioned, and nervous jokes.
4. Using too many colloquial words and phrases. Yes, being too formal is not good too, but being that buddy who came from his rancho to present his startup is even worse. So avoid using slang words or any other sort of inappropriate language.
5. Giving unnecessary statistic data. You need to include some statistics in order to show the relevance of your project but do not overdo that. Using too much statistic data will only make your presentation longer, which will eventually annoy your audience. After all, investors are interested in the benefits of your project for them as well as how much money they will get form their investments, so make sure your statistics illustrate that and not some unimportant data.
6. Technical problems and no plan B. First of all, you have to make sure that everything will work and your presentation will go smoothly. That means that you have to check whether the projector is working, your presentation opens on the computer you are going to show it on, the slides are in the right order, and stuff like that. Apart from that, you always have to have a backup plan in case everything goes wrong. So print out some illustrative materials that you can use in case something doesn’t work. Remember that you have to be ready for everything.
7. Using too much text on the slides. Your PowerPoint presentation is supposed to back up the information you give with some images, videos, diagrams, key-words, etc. So writing long passages there is not a good idea at all, since why would an investor read all that non-sense if you are the one who has to present it. So avoid using long text passages in any type of presentation.
8. Arguing with investors and being rude. Well, this mistake is pretty obvious – nobody will give money to a rude person who dares to argue with them and makes them feel stupid. So whatever an investor says you even if you are sure that he or she is wrong, be polite and never argue with them.
As you can see, there is a lot of mistakes that you can make without even thinking of it. Moreover, you might even think that you are doing everything right but, in fact, you are putting yourself further and further away from getting money for your project and achieving your goal. So look through all these mistakes one more time and keep those in mind while making your pitch deck presentation next time.
Well, let us talk about minimalism and simplicity a little bit. You might often come across the advice that suggests you presenting yourself and your product simply and without any fancy buzzwords. However, how can you achieve this? Well, here are some practical tips from the Gallup and Stryker questionnaires:
These simple tips will help you master the skill of persuading people to trust you, so go ahead and try them out.
Certainly, the most important part of your so-called “performance” is the Q&A section at the end of your speech. Moreover, it actually determines your success since it is direct communication between you and your potential investor, which means that you definitely want to win this battle. But how do you win it? Well, there are no precise directions that will lead you to the victory yet there are some things that will surely help you.
Learn every little detail of your project. This tip is pretty easy, just remember all the technical info, significant data, and some important numbers, so you will be able to answer precise and particular questions.
Make sure you know something about the field you prefer to establish your startup in. For instance, if you are going to launch an online food delivery service, make need to sure that you know at least some basics of logistics, online business, and e-commerce. You might be asked a question such as “What are the technical peculiarities of your website’s promotion?” and you are expected to give a clear answer.
Think of the possible questions in advance and come up with the answers. Well, this one is rather tough because it will seem to you that your presentation is perfectly clear and there should not be any questions after it. But certainly, there will be some questions and you have to predict those in order to come up with the answers that will satisfy your potential investor. So think about these questions or ask your friends and family whether they have any questions and come up with the answers.
Q&A section is something that you cannot avoid, moreover, it’s actually great when an investor asks you questions because it means that he or she is interested in your project. So you shouldn’t be afraid of it, vice versa, you should be happy that people are interested in your startup. Well, use these tips in order to get ready and win this battle.
"Having 15 years of startup experience I`ve been on both sides of investment pitch. The most important is to show investors why they must choose your project.
So, start your presentation with elevator pitch. In just one slide and 45 seconds show what your business is about, some current statistics (user base, revenue, Month to month or Year to year growth) and how it changes if you get investment. Other slides have to show your and core team passion about the project, innovations that you are pitching to the market, your business model, list of current investors and their shares and so on. Don`t forget about 10 slides / 20 minutes / 30 points font rule. It`s classic.
Another important thing is background check that all investors do even before setting up a meeting with you. Be prepared, that they will google you, all your projects, social profiles and so on. That`s the point, where my current project PRNEWS.IO can help you. Our passion is making accurately targeted media publications. We can help you choose medias that will pass you the best and #get publications# in them spending much less time, than if you`ll try to get journalists contacts and convince them to write about you".
Well, a little detail that can make your presentation professional and simply unforgettable is your actual PowerPoint or Keynote presentation, so you want to work hard on that too. Well, perhaps the best way to make your slides look stunning is using a lovely template, so here are some pretty ones that you definitely want to take a look at.
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To make a long story short, an elevator pitch is a promo which is no longer than 1 minute. It should be short, bright, and laconic. As always, the main task of an elevator pitch is to interest your investor/ boss/ partner/ customer. Basically, an elevator pitch should make them want to invite you to the second interview. Needless to say, this second meeting is your chance to share all the details of the project you are working on. However, when it comes to an elevator pitch, you do have to make your best and stay laconic. Use graphics instead of boring tables.
This type of pitch reminds this popular YouTube promo. You can’t skip it but the promo lasts only 10-30 seconds. The same thing is with your elevator pitch. Use your time wisely because the pitch should contain the next questions:
Why creating a worthy elevator pitch is important? Before all else, don’t forget that the decision of your possible investor depends on this step. Your elevator pitch will let big players understand whether they want to spend time on reviewing your project. The thing is that an investor (as well as any well-known company) receives thousands of startup pitches every day. That’s why you should know how to stand out like a sore thumb! Even when it looks like you just started working on your promo, it’s important to create a pro elevator pitch.
So, how can you get it? To do it, you should remember the way the human brain works. It’s always easier to notice, understand, and remind visual elements. For these simple reasons, you do need them for your elevator pitch. Needless to say, there are a lot of ace visual components you can use for a presentation. Among them, there are:
Don’t hesitate to use them for a winning elevator pitch. By the way, in case you prefer working with pre-designed templates for presentations, you get the named UI elements just out-of-the-box. In 2019. it’s almost impossible to stay unique and trendy at the same time. However, the creators of these packs selected for you only the worthy designs. Besides, they are 100% versatile. Using one of these flexible components, you can change any detail up to your taste. By the way, we recommend you to use the color schemes that you already used (or going to use) for the style of your company. It’s important to grab the attention of investors even when it’s only the first step, so you can finally focus on the textual part of the pitch.
To start with, be ready that the process may take some time. A worthy elevator pitch is a powerful thing, so you’ll need to work on it. Once you are done with all the preparations, make sure that your pitch sounds natural and opens the main idea. This small step-by-step guide will help you to get the very elevator pitch.
Looks like it’s finally time to move to the next type of pitch – idea pitch. So, what is it? In a word, idea pitch is the presentation, which lasts 3 minutes maximum. As you may know, this is the most popular pitch type that is widely used for different startup competitions. Usually, a properly created idea pitch consists of these points.
When you are done with money, it’s time to introduce your team. Now you can highlight some personal and working achievements of your partners. Make a special slide for it!
Also, you will have time to share your contacts. Don’t forget about social media pages and make sure you’ve added a working website to the contacts list.
To create a beautiful conclusion, you have to find the most remarkable facts and a unique solution. The investors will remember them even when your promo is over.
Now let’s give the definition to this type of the pitch. Basically, funding pitch is an extensive promo. It lasts 7-10 minutes and covers multiple questions. Funding pitch includes all the steps named above. Plus, this presentation also comes with the next points:
What should you do to impress the audience with a funding pitch? Here are some tips for you.
What is more, you should avoid overusing text for your slides. Replace it with all these voguish designs like charts and graphics.
There’s no need to say that you should not lie during the presentation. Being completely honest, you have more chances to create a trustworthy relationship with investors. Otherwise, your reputation will be ruined.
To finish with, analyze any detail of today’s market and your competitors. You won’t need it for the main part of the pitch. Still, such information will help you to answer final questions.
So, now you know what the main 3 types of pitches are. On the other hand, some users prefer different classification. They divide pitches into 6 types depending on the viewer. Honestly speaking, it’s also a nice variant. Any successful speaker should understand their audience to make a better pitch.
According to the second classification, there are 6 pitch types:
Let’s say a couple of words about all these types.
Investors pitch is a classic pitch we were talking about at the beginning of the post. It’s the pitch to get money, support, and attention. There are 2 main things you do for the pitch. Firstly, you describe the problem. Secondly, you show the way to solve it. This pitch type is your way to the big market.
To put it briefly, customers pitch is the way a seller communicated with their customers. That’s how shop owners and other retailers usually get the feedbacks. The main task of the pitch to customers is to understand their needs. What do shoppers think about the goods you sell and how to improve your shop? What do people like about the services you provide? These are the questions you should ask yourself when working on this type of pitches.
The thing is that a sale is a pitch by itself. Obviously, you won’t talk about the global market or how much money you are going to get from the sale… Although your audience is really different, the promo you create is still a pitch. It has the same rules. For example, create a story for your sale to grab the shoppers’ attention. Talking about sales pitches, you should create something people will love.
Shortly, employees pitch is meant to consider the ideas and the vision you have. It’s all about the company you are going to work at and the future of its workers. Make sure that your pitch sounds like you are already a part of the company’s story.
Without a doubt, getting a partnership is not easy. It’s extremely hard if you want to find partners in a big and famous corporation. For these simple reasons, you should be careful. This is the hardest type of pitches. Before all else, find the person you are going to talk to. Not everyone in the company is ready to spend their time on your ideas, so don’t be too obsessive. Keep in mind that partners pitch should be focused on your partners and their needs, not on your startup.
They say keep your friends close but enemies closer. There’s no secret, in 2018, businessmen have an open channel of communication with their competitors. During this pitch, you should stay smart, calm, and rational. All in all, talking to your competitors may help you to find a middle ground. It can be helpful in case you have common enemies.
It’s time to sum everything up. No matter which pitch type you decided to use, follow these simple tips.
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There are many ways to overcome this fear such as imagining that everybody in the room is naked or filming yourself while rehearsing your speech. The point here is to find the very tip that works for you, so check out this article, try out those tips and tricks, and find the ones that work for you the best.
First of all, you have to practice your presentation speech multiple times in order to be perfectly ready. Apart from that, think about the possible questions you might be asked and come up with answers to those. Finally, do not stay up all night preparing and get a good night sleep, so you will be full of energy while presenting your startup.
Pretty much everybody uses pre-made layouts that come with Keynotes or PowerPoint, which makes it impossible to come up with something truly unique. So yes, you need a template.
Go ahead and watch Apple product presentations or some TED Talks on YourTube. You’ll definitely get inspired.
Before starting this article I did my best to carefully investigate this topic in order to be able to give you some solid advice. Thus, I’ve read quite a few books and watched a whole bunch of YouTube videos. However, the resources that actually helped me and eventually became the basis of this very article are the following: