3 minutes and 30 seconds to solve a problem that affects people globally. This is the time to make an irresistible offer and put the magical painkiller on the plate as a result of your constant dedication.
Pitching your start – up is a knife – edge situation and you are lucky enough to have done it before so that you know what to expect. However, everybody has to do it for the first time. So I did mine at the International Investor Day a couple of weeks ago.
Little details play a crucial role in your pitch and unless you want an unplanned promotion, as I happened to receive after my first pitch, stick to my bullet – points:
• Make it short and make it effective.
The more you talk, the more uncertainties you may provoke. Stick to only what is important. Investors who are into your start-up will come up to you regarding any additional information they may need.
• Talk numbers and facts.
If you are talking about how big you are going to be, the question is: what backs your words up? Received any traction and revenues so far? If yes, then eyes are on you.
• A short video can make a great impact.
On the day I pitched, one start – up has chosen to show a video of 30 seconds that explained how people would be using their app. It worked: they were amongst the winners.
• Be who you are and make the most of it.
Yes, it’s more about the product. But the product is yours; so it’s still about you and what you represent in the business. Make sure you are aware of the way you look (e.g.: representing a fashion start – up requires an outfit to impress and the pitch to support that first impression). Do not forget that adding a short personal story behind the product may help people to relate to you.
• Be open.
Even if you have made a great pitch, there’s still possibility that your efforts will be worth nothing if you don’t give accurate answers during Q&A. State why something is the way it is rather than making up something that is definitely not true.
• Never panic and stick to what you were going to say.
If you see the audience doesn’t pay attention or you hear criticism during your pitch: keep going. Your message and pitch will not magically change to ease the public, so better find out what was wrong after your pitch.
III. Little details that you thought won’t matter
• Check the technical equipment you will be using, practice the pitch and always have elevator pitch in your mind.
If you were to ask me, how to get more people to talk to you after the pitch or how to make people remember you, I would tell you. Take the microphone and leave the clicker on the table. Controlling the slides with microphone itself was not the best assumption, especially taking technology advancements for granted. Even though it happened to me unintentionally, technical issues stole my show.
No matter that it turned out well afterwards as I got valuable insights about both pitching and the start – up itself, you should eliminate all possible distractions.
Practicing the pitch thousand times will make you confident, therefore, you will focus on minding your steps while getting on stage, taking the clicker and communicating with the audience. And if somebody approaches you after the speech, always have the elevator pitch in your head: one problem, one solution, and the only one value proposition.
Stand up and speak up, there is no chance to come back with zero experience.
Special thanks to:
David Goldsmith who stressed the importance of outfit if one is presenting a fashion business. Next day my outfit reflected his words.
Oscar Kneppers who congratulated me on staying sharp and firm while pitching with technical issues I was not aware of.
Gleb Maltsev who has more bullet points than me on how to pitch. He kindly shared his advice regarding the future improvements.
Written by Kamile Kaselyte
You may sign up our monthly newsletter to receive updates or news from our team.