Note from Jimmy Hua:
This post is shared through my Google Reader from another source. All credit of the post belongs to them which you can access by going to Tips for Pitching in Person
As an entrepreneur, you need to have a variety of pitches ready: the short and sweet elevator pitch that you can deliver on a moment’s notice, the email pitch that you can send to prospective investors or journalists, the pitch-deck that you have prepped.
And while, sure, many of these pitches can be done electronically – for better, for worse – you need to be prepared for the face-to-face pitch as well (again, for better, for worse).
First Round Capital’s Charlie O’Donnell has a number of suggestions in a recent blog post. He admits that pitch events are “a little bit contrived,” but recognizes that they’re a popular format. Unfortunately, in many cases the companies on stage at these events have innovative products, but deliver lousy (or at least mediocre) pitches.
So here are some of the tips O’Donnell offers in order to help you improve your in-person pitches:
Don’t rely on the technology
Assume that the technology will fail. Be ready to give your presentation whether or not your slides, the demo, the wireless, and/or the projector is functioning. That means having a copy of your pitch deck in multiple formats, in multiple places – in a PDF and a PowerPoint format, for example, on your machine, on a USB drive and on the Web.
Be ready to give your presentation without your pitch deck. Your presentation should always tell a story, and you should be prepared to tell that story whether or not there are slides accompanying it. You should have your talking points memorized and you should know the order of the points you want to make. (And the order of these points should be meaningful. “Don’t then lead with team because you saw it in that order on some VC blog.”)
Don’t let the technology be a distraction from your story
Whether or not the technology is fully functioning, you should be engaging. You really don’t want to be upstaged by your slides – or by your lack of slides. But then again, do make sure your presentation is professional-looking and visually-appealing.
What other tips do you have for pitching in person and on-stage at pitch events?