Pitching Hacks: How to create a winning pitch?

Okay. You already hacked the problem with your team and created a solution that you know would definitely benefit Filipinos in the future. What now?

Well, the next step is to create that effective and compelling pitch deck to help you convince judges and future investors to help you hack your way into the future.

Ready to hacktivate a winning pitch? Check out these essential tips from Entrepreneur.com in creating the perfect pitch presentation for companies and startups.

Keep your story short and sweet.

The layout of your pitch presentation will speak volumes to investors. If you upload a 40-slide deck filled with dense text, expect a collective sigh from your audience. Investors’ time is valuable, and the reality is, most investors are looking for reasons to say “no” to your pitch. From the very beginning of the meeting, you need to be convincing them otherwise.

Fortunately, formatting is relatively straightforward for a pitch: make it as short as possible. A pitch should be a document that makes it easy for readers to digest your core messages even if they only skim through it. A good guideline is the 10/20/30 rule from Guy Kawasaki, which advocates using 10 slides in 20 minutes, with 30 point font. The slides should then be listed in the following order:

1. Problem statement
2. Your solution
3. Business model
4. Walkthrough or demo of your product/service
5. Marketing and sales

These next slides can vary in order depending on where your startup story is strongest:

-Analysis of your competitors
-Your team structure
-Projections and milestones
-Status and timeline

For your last slide, state the amount of money you’re asking for, and leave your contact details.

Gabe Zichermann, chief executive at Failosophy, suggests checking out pitch decks from other companies for inspiration. Decks from the likes of Google and Airbnb can be found with a quick online search, as well as videos of them being presented. Aim to review pitches from companies in your industry to get an idea of where to place the most emphasis in your pitch; but don’t simply copy them. Recognize the differences in today’s moment in time, technological developments, and market demand. There are no magic pitch templates that work across the board, so the more you study a variety of pitches, the more you’ll be able to find a mix that works for your company.

Showcase your product or service.

The proof is always in the pudding, as the saying goes. For investors to really buy into your idea, they need to see it in action. Of course, a live demo of your product depends on if it’s actually been built, how it works, and what scale it works on. Still, if you can provide a snippet of your solution, a video of it being used, or a mockup, you’ll be a step closer to convincing investors.

Remember that your demo should be smoothly integrated into your pitch presentation. Avoid disruptions by setting up equipment in advance, loading web browsers, and testing (multiple times) that the product is working flawlessly. If your company is focused on an app or service, be sure to highlight the ease of use and any personalization features. Be cautious not to use heavy tech terminology either, as investors may not be familiar with it and will quickly switch off.

Tell investors why you’re the right person.

A common misconception founders have is that investors want to see huge financial projections in your pitch. Really, they want to know that you’re the person who can make the business a successful reality. Numbers mean nothing if the person at the helm of the ship isn’t capable.

To prove that you’re the right person for the job, begin your pitch by establishing a fact that reinforces how deeply motivated you are to solve the problem at hand. The more personal, the better. Sollich says, “make it emotional. Show real people, and show examples. Show your own emotions, your passion, and how much your care about working on the idea.”

For instance, if you’re innovating food packaging, you could share the fact that you have a relative with a nut allergy who has experienced anaphylactic shock due to cross-contamination in packaging factories. As a result, it’s now your mission to ensure that packaging is clean and clearly labeled for all.

Although it can be tempting, refrain from asking rhetorical questions when you frame your story. Many founders think that “how many of you have experienced X?” is a strong opener, but it isn’t. This kind of question is a gamble because a large chunk of investors may have never experienced the situation you’re using to relate to them, and that means you’ll lose their interest very early on. Generally, it’s best to concentrate on telling your story in the most compelling way, rather than trying to get investors to connect personally with the issue.

The perfect investor pitch has to persuade people that your startup is going to be successful, but also that you’re the one who will take it there. It’s a combination of personal and professional, and it goes beyond making money – it’s an invitation to be part of an exciting new journey. By concentrating on “why” (why this solution, why now, why you) and offering proof that validates your company’s hypothesis, your pitch will not only be believable, it’ll be investible.

For the full article, visit: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/357025

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