The 2015 edition of the pan-European startup contest Idea Challenge sees an increase in variety and internationality. The series of events re…
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As a startup, you’ll always be competing for the attention of the audience! And you don’t want to get them bored, do you? Then try to prepare a five to ten minutes pitch that is engaging and avoid using too many numbers and technical data. This leads you to Death by PowerPoint, the main reason why people don’t do well at Demo Days.
Using the 10 – 20 – 30 Kawasaki rule may help you out when preparing your pitch and it goes as simple as that:
Startup Storytelling; Photo credit: MVP Academy
It’s also important to be very observant with the audience and understand what they’re looking for in a presentation. This is how you catch their attention and the very reason why you should customize your deck according to the needs of the people you’re pitching.
If in doubt, there is one structure of the pitch deck that you can use to make sure you include all the relevant information and cut all the bullshit out. And here it is:
You’ve got to be remarkable when pitching, so make sure you communicate things clearly, always emphasizing why you’re doing what you do. Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk on how great leaders inspire action may be of help here, so take a quick look at it. And don’t forget the ice cream theory: the secret is in the toppings, so make sure you add the right ones to your pitch!
And in order to stand out, you’d better have a good story. Storytelling requires time and expertise and it’s not just a cosmetic thing your marketing department can throw in the mix. You have to find the storyteller in your startup, match him or her with your writer, and have them work together to find the right angle for your story.
And before you start, there are a couple of questions you should ask yourself:
The more knowledge you have, the better the story will be in the end. Then start connecting the dots and putting everything together and get out there: share your story, see how people react to it, learn what works and what doesn’t and ask yourself why.
Last but not least, don’t forget to keep it short and simple! Say what you have to say in as few words as possible and always make sure you know who your audience is and adjust the story accordingly. As counterintuitive as it may sound, there are three magical ingredients for a good story: a beginning, a middle, and an end! And most stories fail miserably because they don’t include these!
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