How to Prepare Before Pitching Your Startup

By Fernando Berrocal

How to prepare before a pitch session, it's one of the most frequently asked questions by startup founders. To help answer this question, we'll go through some tips on how to best prepare your pitch so you can have a better chance of creating a good impression and attracting investors.

  1. Find your Target Audience:  What types of businesses are the investors you're pitching to searching for? What industry, stage, amount of financing, etc.  These are crucial things to know as they will enable you to focus on the areas that are most likely to spark their interest. Investors are often exposed to a large number of businesses and investment prospects. As a result, they frequently employ strategies to assist them in cutting down their options to choose from.

Pitch Session for a Startup - Pitch Deck

  1. Prepare your Pitch Deck in advance of the time restriction:  Most pitching events give you up to 5 minutes. Since you only have a few minutes, you should plan accordingly. Be certain that you can finish your presentation with at least 30 seconds to spare. This way, even if things don't go well, you'll be able to complete on time at the event. Using an extensive pitch deck designed to present the business in 15 minutes or more is a mistake that founders often make.

Allow adequate time for the audience to read the material on the slides. You can have a certain amount of text in a 5-minute pitch, but it's not good to produce particularly content-heavy slides. Having too many slides with too much content and rushing through them makes the presentation feel disorganized. Consider the pitch to be a trailer for a movie. It's not designed to reveal the entire narrative, but rather to spark interest. After the presentation, the investors can choose to talk with them privately. Make a lean version of your detailed deck that you can utilize in a 2-to-5-minute presentation if you have one.

  1. Concentrate on the most crucial issues:  The following are some of the most commonly used slides (topics) to include in your pitch deck:

  • Introduction: What does the business do?
  • Problem: What are the needs of your customers that you are resolving?
  • Solution: How are you meeting those needs?
  • Validation: Proof that it is effective.
  • Market size: Why should you invest in this high-risk project?
  • Strategy: How are you going to make it work (expansion, earning money, etc.)?
  • Team: Why do you think you're the best candidates? Do you possess the necessary abilities?
  • Financing: How much money do you require and for what purpose?

When deciding what to remove, keep the topics that hold the most engaging information, the ones that will make you stand out.  Remember that the two keys to success at pitching events are to offer the needed information while also standing out. Every presentation revolves around four main themes: problem, solution, traction/validation, and team. Make sure such issues are addressed, no matter what.  Investors will move on to the next startups if your presentation confuses them in any way. The content of a startup pitch should be more important than the structure.

Pitch Session for a Startup

  1. Prepare to deliver your pitch clearly: There are two methods to prepare for a pitch: having a general notion of what you'll say and learning the pitch by heart. The first choice is a mistake unless you have a lot of pitching experience. Pitching sessions are a high-stress environment for most people. Presenting it in front of others is the greatest approach to practice delivering it fluently. This way, you'll not only get practice but also feedback. It's a good idea to make adjustments for the benefit of clarity if your friends and family are confused at any time. It's important to remember that not all investors are domain specialists.

  1. How to pitch on Zoom?  To begin, double-check that your technical setup is operational. Check your camera, microphone, internet connection, and navigate your presentation while you're speaking. Then, print out the text of your presentation. It's not a good idea to read word for word because it doesn't sound natural. However, if you haven't practiced enough, it's still a possibility. Having the text there as a reminder in case you get stuck is always reassuring, even if you don't read it word for word. If you decide to take the improvisation way, you should instead publish your essential talking points as bullets.

  1. Prepare material for follow-up:  Hopefully, at least one investor will pay attention to you after the session. They'll most likely invite you in for a private conversation. Make sure you can follow up with a more detailed deck, a business plan, or a lean canvas by email. If a potential investor is intrigued by the trailer, make sure you can show them the entire movie while the first impression is still fresh.

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