Skills & Secrets to Create
a Winning Startup Pitch
Entrepreneurs have inborn skills, but these are seldom enough. If you want to succeed in the journey, you have to nurture the skills you have and develop ones you don’t. You will require them right from the start when you have to create and present your startup pitch.
Investors and venture capitalists play a significant role in taking your startup dreams forward. Bootstrapping may work only up to a certain time, and you will need to raise capital eventually. This is where investors and venture capitalists come in.
At this stage, you will have to create a startup pitch that is convincing enough for them to part with their money. Moreover, it must sound better than hundreds of others they see every month. Things are far more complicated than they seem because your pitch deck has to be flawless. If it isn’t, your potential investor will quickly move on to another opportunity.
To help, here are some simple skills and secrets that can help you create a winning startup pitch.
Attention to detail- Do your homework about the audience
You are pitching to potential investors and venture capitalists, so they are your audience at this point. Forget the customers at this stage and focus on convincing the people on the other side of the table. The best advice is to never jump into the water without testing it. Do your homework to understand your audience. Also, you must pay attention to detail and get every single piece of information available. You can get some significant facts about them from LinkedIn and personal connections. It is equally important to interpret valuable facts and details from the data. Know what would entice them enough to invest in your venture, and highlight these factors in your startup pitch. The more focused you are on the audience, the better are the chances of getting a favorable outcome.
Organizational skills- Stack the elements of the pitch
Knowing the audience and understanding their expectations is only a start. Creating the pitch desk is real work, and good organizational skills take you a long way. Typically, a startup deck has multiple elements. These include the title, problem, solution, market demand, competition, business model, sales and marketing, management team, company status, investment strategy, risk assessment, ROI, and long-term financial projections. There may be more or fewer elements, depending on the audience and nature of business, but you need to order them correctly to ensure that the pitch flows well. This is only possible if you are good at organizing things.
Creative capabilities- Have a compelling storyline
A pitch is not just a presentation; it is a story that replicates your vision, and you need to be creative enough to weave it well. Once you know the audience, you are all set to create a compelling storyline to hold their attention from start to end. Firstly, narrate the goal behind the startup because what matters more than how to potential investors. At this point, you need a clear business plan defining the problem, solution, and roadmap for your startup journey. Using business plan software is a good idea as it ensures you have all key points covered in the presentation. This also speeds up the process and ensures accuracy. Make sure you have the answers to any questions your audience may have because they will definitely have some.
Clarity and confidence- Know what you want to say
You may know the audience well enough and have an impressive storyline. But clarity makes all the difference when it comes to creating a perfect startup pitch. It is easy to have too much to show and talk about, but you could end up overwhelming the audience with redundant information. They will prefer crisp and clear pieces structured for clarity instead of being bombarded by stats and numbers they hardly care about. When it comes to skills, clarity and confidence can help you fulfill these expectations. They enable you to segregate information and skip pieces that serve no value. If you are confident, you will not be apprehensive about trimming the useless elements.
Strong communication- Set the stage for your presentation
Presenting a startup pitch well is as crucial as preparing a perfect one. At this stage, your communication skills will come into play. They can make or break the startup pitch, so you must go the extra mile to set the stage for your presentation. You may want to do it all alone or have team members filling in bits and pieces. Have a presentation plan right from the start. If others are a part of it, ensure everyone has the requisite presentation skills and understands their roles. It is vital to present things smoothly when multiple people do it. You may end up with an abrupt and jagged presentation if you do not ensure consistency, no matter how good the pitch is.
Honesty- Prioritize transparency and trust
While honesty isn’t exactly a skill, it can make all the difference to the success of your entrepreneurial pitch. If you believe in your idea, honesty shows in every word you say in your presentation. Include facts and truth in your pitch because they foster transparency and trust. If your investors trust you the first time, they will not hesitate to invest in your business again. Double-check your pitch before presenting to ensure that it is realistic. If you do not have an answer to a question, be honest enough to admit it but assure the investors that you will have the answer soon. A sales pitch is more likely to be impactful if it adds a human touch rather than sticking to only numbers and graphs.
There isn’t a magic pill for creating a winning startup pitch, but chasing perfection can get you close. Think like an investor and consider what would drive them to invest in your startup. Prioritize these key factors in your pitch and presentation, and you have a winner for sure. Leverage your existing skills and add the missing ones to ensure you hit the bull’s eye at the very first attempt.
About the Author
Devin is a serial entrepreneur with a flair for writing. Apart from having set up multiple startups, he also has an impressive understanding of the industry. He often contributes to leading business blogs.