Pitch Style, Tools & Issues
Pitch content aside, the style of your pitch is where you can really stand out. Many experts argue, for instance, that a natural discussion is preferable to a rigid and over-rehearsed script. A deck, or slideshow, is also something you may want to consider using. This section covers these matters, and also issues such as who should attend your pitch and how to handle pitches that have gone awry.
- Executive Summaries (1)
- Handling Bad Meetings (1)
- Pitch Meeting Attendees (1)
- Post-Meeting Follow-Up (1)
- Conflicts of Interest (2)
- Email Pitches (2)
- Pitching Groups (2)
- What to Send to Investors (2)
- Miscellaneous Pitch Tips (3)
- Confidentiality & NDAs (4)
- Pitching Partner Meetings (4)
- Pitch Style & Format (6)
- Decks & Slideshows (7)
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When we receive an email from a referral source introducing us to a founder, we typically ask the founder if they have an executive summary. This may sound tedious and old-school. But it is a quick and easy way for us to decide if a call or meeting is a good use of both parties' time as a next step. It’s also a decent way to evaluate the founder(s). The ability to communicate your idea concisely and articulately is essential. It not only shows a potential to persuade (i.e., sell) but also shows clarity of thought and priorities. Here are some tips on how to create a good executive summary.
Crocodile Salesmen are people who are always talking. They’re pitching to you. They don’t take the time to realize what your true motivations are because they’re too busy telling you what they THINK you want to hear. Trust me – your chances of selling are much lower if you’re talking rather than actively listening.
Most people suck at presenting to big groups. It’s a shame because the ability to nail these presentations at key conferences can be once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to influence journalists, business partners, potential employees, customers and VCs. So I thought I’d write a piece on how to not suck when you give a presentation.
Congratulations. You’ve found a VC partner or principal who has invited you to the Monday partners’ meeting. So you arrive at the meeting in the comfort that somebody has championed you to this point. Every 1:1 meeting you’ve had to date has been collegiate and productive. What could go wrong? A lot, actually. Here are some tips to keep in mind for the big day.
When I talk about a business plan I’m not talking about a 40-page Word document outlining your market approach. That died with waterfall software development. I’m not even talking about your 12-page Powerpoint presentation that you need to raise venture capital or to talk with potential biz dev partners. I’m talking about your financial spreadsheet. I will quote a prominent, well-known entrepreneur whom I like and respect and who told me when he was raising money, “I don’t know how much I’m going to charge for my product so why should I create an artificial spreadsheet?” Here’s why.