Psychology of a startup pitch

For the past few years, I have been evaluating investment proposals and have probably heard hundreds of pitches from startups and Entrepreneurs. A few of the pitches were able to create an impact which lasted long, a few created an emotional connect which made you feel as part of a larger story while some bored you to death. Some pitches challenged the pre-notions, while others felt complete in every possible way.

Over interactions I realized that the more seasoned and mature pitches had actually evolved after a series of prior presentations to other investors and these Entrepreneurs , through a subconscious evaluation could tweak and optimize these pitches , perfect enough to retain the interest and initiate cross questioning.

But do all the Entrepreneurs need to go through this grind to perfect their pitch or is there a secret recipe which can work in most of the cases.

Here are a few ingredients (based on my experience) which might help you structure your pitch better.

Always let the marketing guy talk

Spare us the information overload. A smart pitch is the one which can let the investor understand the basic offering and the complexity in a simple sentence. Over boarding the pitch with technology jargons and structural complexities might break the initial enthu. To avoid this, take this as a sales task and let the marketing guy structure the pitch and present. Let the technology be discussed when probed or advanced for diligence.

Keep it simple

An overload of marketing or technology jargon may lose you your patient listener. Choose the words carefully and articulate to the extent where the investor can easily understand your solution to the problem statement.

Create an Emotional Connect

Your investor is also human. If you have felt the pinch of a problem, he would also feel the same provided you are able to make him feel that emotional connect with the problem. This would let the investor think more like your customer and relate better to the solution.

Underline the deliverables/value clearly

Investors invariably look at the additional value that you are creating. If your solution solves a global problem, increases efficiency, saves money, saves time or even impact the masses; stress on it. Let the investor know how your product is going to make life easier for your customer.

Instill confidence and establish credibility

Your smile and confidence are contagious. Let the investor know that you (read the team) are in this project for long. Let him know how you have bootstrapped or what opportunity cost you are foregoing to be in this big game. Take the best example from the past to present your caliber and competence for the project.

Let the data support you

Let the investor know the broad industry figures and how your market is going to grow with each passing year. Give him a teaser of how big the game is a let him do his mental maths on how much money he might make.

While keeping all the above the pointers in mind, structure your pitch to cover the following :

  1. The industry problem and your solution.
  2. Your differentiation.
  3. Your target audience.
  4. The Business Model.
  5. The ask and the Deployment
  6. The Team

Hope this helps. Happy pitching!

About The Author – Ojasvi Babber

Ojaswi Babber

Ojasvi Babber, heads the Incubator at Amity University, Noida and also takes care of the PAN India Virtual Incubation program, which has been rolled across 17 different cities in India. You can reach him on @ojasvibabber.

Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.

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