4 Things to Think About in Advance of Every Pitch
Frank Erschen combines 25 years of corporate experience with 10+ years in the startup community in The Artful Science of PitchingⓇ. As the co-founder of Powernoodle, he knows first hand what it’s like to be raising money. Frank teaches his framework across North and South America and has coached and helped hundreds of companies refine their pitches and work towards investment, from friends & family investments right up to Series C funding.
First impressions are always important. The Artful Science of PitchingⓇ identifies 4 things to consider before pitching to investors:
Understand who you’re pitching to. For example, if you’re pitching to a VC, you should be able to go to their website and find out what their investment strategy or thesis is, their current portfolio, and what exactly they’re looking for from an investment.
If you’re pitching to angels, you may have to use LinkedIn or other methods to find these things out. Find out what they’ve invested in before, and consider meeting with them.
There are three things to consider when it comes to formatting your pitch:
- Timing. Know how much time you have to pitch. Is it an opportunity to tell an uninterrupted pitch, where you get to tell your story - or an interactive one (which means you’ll be going to Q&A very quickly)?
If there is a Q&A portion, know how much time is going to be dedicated to it, since there is extra preparation involved in preparing your answers - almost like a second pitch.
- Agenda. Who else is pitching? Who is presenting before/after you? What time will your pitch be?
If you know that you are presenting before/after a break or lunch, it will help you determine how dynamic you will have to be for your presentation. If you’ll be following someone who you know is an exceptional presenter, then that means that you’ll have to up your game and be your best for your presentation.
- Venue. Ask if there is a stage or podium. Will you be using a microphone or lavalier mic? Is there a preview monitor? A preview monitor will prevent you from turning around to see the screen during your presentation. When you do that, it looks like you don’t know your material.
If you’re pitching at a competition, there’s usually a scoresheet. You might also want to find out if one criterion is weighted more than another, or what the decision process is to be able to get through that.
If it’s not a pitch competition, do a little probing to find out what the audience is looking for in investment opportunities.
What’s the flow of your story? What’s the context? What are the details that you need to be able to include in the pitch? Ensure that the core message is the same, regardless of the audience you’re talking to. You don’t want conflicting information amongst your potential investors.
Watch Part 1 of The Artful Science of PitchingⓇ here: