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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

How Not to Pitch Your Idea - Part 2

Last week we talked about timescales and numbers. Today we talk about presentation, positivity and poise. It's not what you do, its the way that you do it.

Presentation - You are the Master of Your Universe.

There is a very fine line between being cocky and having the self confidence to say "I am going to do this". That fine line is all about how you present your idea.

What an investor wants to see and hear is the hard work you have put in and how you have managed to get your product/service ready for market. Be short and to the point. Waffling about the ups and downs of your laptop breaking or spilling coffee on your business plan is pretty irrelevant. Take the investor on a journey from A to B with all the salient points included.
  • formation of the idea
  • market research
  • targeting your market
  • developing the product/service
  • ready for market
As will all journeys, there is a start, middle and end. Do not waste your time on any single point, move from one stage to the next in a logical, clear and above all efficient manner.

Positivity - Ying and Yang

You are going to be presented with objections and asked probing questions, after all you do want their money. How you deal with these questions could be the difference between investment and a handshake.

Objections can based on the price point, competitors, quality or even doubting your ability to carry the idea to market. Investors want to see your reaction to these questions and expect you to overcome anything thrown at you. Here are some examples:

"The service is too cheap"
- We want to grow a loyal user base and are offering a price point to reflect their early starter take up of our solution. Moving forward we will re-evaluate the value for money to customers.

"The competition is better"
- Our unique selling point differentiates us from competition and our marketing will stress this to our market segment.

"Your projections do not include X, Y and Z"
- The projections are flexible, we have contingencies in place to overcome any unforeseen costs.

Every negative has a positive response, its Ying and Yang.

Poise - Hold Your Head High

If you look defeated, downtrodden and exhausted do not bother showing up. There are so many tell tale non verbal signs to avoid:
  • staring into space
  • sighing
  • sweating
  • yawning
  • umming and aahing
  • looking to the sky for inspiration
  • covering your mouth
  • folding your arms
The list is endless.

Hold yourself with confidence. Keep eye contact (avoid staring of course) and talk to the audience you are with. If you have no confidence in your product then do not expect your potential investor to do so.


Know Your Stuff

You are your product. Your are your company and you are responsible for making it happen. Facts and figures are vital to an investor as is the confidence you show.

Be brave but informed when pitching and good luck.