notes-business-startups-startups-stPitching

Contents

Pitching

not just for investors

similar to selling (you are selling an idea)

practice but you don't have to memorize every word. be concise. keep them interested; in many situations you are in an elevator, etc, so if you don't interest them early you won't be given time to continue. focus on the other person's interests and needs. confidence. do sweat the presentation details; if you have slides, align things on them, etc, if there are questions you are likely to be asked, know the answers cold. prepare early and get enough sleep if possible.

be bold. if you believe your thing will be big, say so.

a little intensity in your manner of delivery is also okay.

pitch to everyone you meet whenever you can (within reason), even if they are not people who can help you. This gives you practice. There is even a saying for this: "always be pitching".

if your audience is considering investing in you, and they aren't experts in your domain (tip: even your family and friends are in this position), they probably need to be assured that they aren't doing something stupid if they support you. Show them that others besides you are doing the same thing, that it's not just your weird idea, it's a trend. Show them that other high-profile experts who they may have heard of and/or trust believe in similar things. If possible, show them that their peers/competitors are already on board and they don't want to miss the boat/bandwagon.

don't pitch something you don't believe in! unless you are a smooth operator, your audience may be able to tell. But more to the point, if you don't even believe it, why the heck are you investing your life in it? Quit and do something else with your time! I doubt anyone reading this is actually considering pitching something they don't believe in, but the next paragraph is more likely:

If you do believe in your core idea, but you are not pitching the reasoning that convinced you because you think it is too far out to communicate to your audience, and so instead you are trying to argue for it based on something else that you don't believe is true, but that if it were true, would be persuasive... then stop doing that! You have to find a way to communicate the true part, the good part, to your audience. Yes, that's hard, but you have to do it. Sleep on it, think about it in the shower, you can do it; i've had a few big ideas that were at first seemed very abstract and 'ahead of its time' but that after going back to it many times i managed to find another way to explain it that was concisely and understandable.

advanced topic: reframe/reconceptualize (e.g. don't just accept the conventional paradigm and argue for your idea within it, introduce a paradigm from which your idea is the obvious next step; this is tricky because if you just jump into your paradigm you will sound crazy, you have to start with something the audience knows and bring them along).

some methods of reframing (this section is just random ideas, i dunno if i'm any good at reframing so they might even be counterproductive, bad ideas):

Getting investment

Almost full-time job

investors like hot things