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5 major rules of effective pitching

What you should always keep in mind is that memory sucks. So your goal as a startup needs to remain simple: make them remember you. The startup ecosystem has seen many pitching competitions, including Wolves Summit’s Great Pitch.

Here we’ve listed a few rules to follow, if you’re ever thinking of pitching to investors and potential business partners. Because it’s not about PowerPoint, anymore. (As if it ever was?)

 

1. PLAN AHEAD

Never, never, never let the time trick you. It’s later, than you think. Make sure you have a plan of your presentation. Make it clean, but include all the information required for others to understand your idea. The audience will most likely be filled with investors potentially willing to finance you. Think of KPIs, patent situation, team, competition on the market, revenues, plans for the next months, required funding, and anything an investor finds of use. Focus on these aspects and don’t let your presentation wander around how awesome your product or service is – you’re probably the only one who cares so much about it.


2. PRACTISE YOUR STAGE PERFORMANCE

You will spend 3-5 minutes on stage presenting your idea. It really isn’t that much. But if you’ve got stage fright, it probably feels like ages. One simple advice: if you know, you may not pull it off, choose someone else from your startup team. If it has to be you, practise way before actual pitching begins. Performance anxiety is common, actors and singers have it, too (such as Michael Gambon or Adele). Try and practise the presentation as often as you can until you become an expert and develop a little more self-confidence. If it helps you focus, note down key points on a small piece of paper – don’t make it very obvious, though.

3. DON’T OVERLOAD YOUR PRESENTATION

There have been hundreds of presentations at Wolves Summit so far. What could be noticed in investors’ questions, was the desire to actually understand the idea. The presentations did, of course, include everything. But they were too long and didn’t make it in the 3-minute time limit. Revise your presentation. What could be removed? Is there something that has to show up at the beginning? If investors saw the file, would they understand the concept? It is recommended that you don’t include long blocks of text on slides, so try and limit to 5 short lines, just so that everyone gets the idea off a slide.

4. STICK TO THE TIME LIMIT

It has been mentioned already, but try and stick to the time limit. Make a shorter presentation, so that you don’t have to rush through all the slides. If you were the audience, wouldn’t it confuse you? Make a bold start and a clear statement at the end. Be consistent, people don’t need to know the whole history about how you decided to start your company. You do not want to take the risk of being interrupted by the moderator. Not only does it stress you out, but also looks pretty bad in the eyes of potential business partners and investors. Plan your whole speech and include some buffer time in case you forget something or the slide won’t change.

5. LEARN FROM OTHERS

It’s always better to learn from others’ mistakes than your own. Especially when it comes to finding investors and business partners. Such cases would require that you do the research, watch presentations and listen to experts. Find an interview with investors, try and understand what they look for in a startup. Study a startup pitch to spot any mistakes they might be making. And the most important thing: never be afraid to ask. Don’t look for slips and errors only. Learning good practices can actually give you a lot more confidence. During Wolves Summit world experts often give lectures on how to cooperate and get to investors or executives.

 

See the Great Pitch final presentation from April 2016 HERE.


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