In the current pandemic situation, entrepreneurs found themselves affected as well. Networking was always a key element for company development, and now, more than ever, the digitalization of it comes with some challenges, errors, mistakes, pains, but as well, opportunities, successes, and great stories.
Because of the current situation, and to support founders, we come up with some exciting tips exclusively developed from Mainstage Incubator and Frankfurt Valley´s team, to help you make an awesome online pitch. These guidelines will help you not only when doing pitches to investors but also when doing any online presentation or meeting.
We know how tough it can get trying to convince someone of your idea virtually and within a very short time period. We have been there. Our Startups have been there. But you don’t have to worry anymore! In this writeup, We will share with you the ten most important things that you have to take care of prior and during the presentation to deliver your pitch in the best way possible. Most of the things are done before the meeting time which makes it even easier. So let’s get started!
Get your content ready
This is probably the most important thing to do. Without well-organized content, you won’t be able to do a good online pitch no matter how well you set the environment or which platform you choose to use for your presentation. If possible write down a script and prepare your pitch deck. You can even create or record short videos explaining some aspects of your pitch. Do not memorize your pitch but rather understand every single aspect of it.
Train it with other team members or friends, and try to get feedback beforehand.
Choose your tools and technologies aright
There are a wide plethora of tools available for online meetings. Examples include Zoom, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, Webex…. Each of them presents different approaches and features to the online meetup experience. Choose a tool that you are comfortable with. It will be good for you to communicate in advance to the people you are pitching to which online tool you will be using. In the event, they are the ones choosing the meeting platform then be sure to familiarize yourself with it and how to navigate around.
This is even more important when we talk about TECH startups.
Prepare your environment
By environment, We mean your physical surroundings. Before the call, make sure your environment, and, in particular, the background that will show up “on camera”, is professional. Background noise is tolerable (pets, kids, personal belongings, politics related stuff) but it will affect the perception and the judgments, so avoid it as much as possible. Test your video and audio connections, as well as your internet speed, in advance.
Be ready for tough questions
A typical pitch always starts with a personal introduction and a team member’s introduction. It is often followed by the jury/investor team members introducing themselves. You will then be asked to screen share, walk through your deck, and show product demo (if available). But it doesn’t always go this smooth. Sometimes you might be interrupted with a question or two during your presentation. In most cases, these questions however come at the end of your pitch so don’t worry. Some of them might be pretty tough and that’s why I insisted on you mastering and understanding your pitch rather than memorizing it. That helps you to answer. Any tough questions that come your way.
Prepare for technical hitches
Get us right here. We have said you need to prepare and not expect. We all desire that the presentation will run smoothly but we never know what happens. So what do you do? First things first, Share the documents of your pitch at least an hour before the call. This ensures that the investors are aware of what you will be pitching about before the meeting time. Secondly, send your presentation before you jump on the call. This saves you a few minutes at the start of your presentation and gives you time to focus on the presentation and extra minutes for questions and responses. In case anything goes wrong, the investors or the jury will already have your presentation.
Use Beautiful Visuals during your presentation.
This might sound like a far-fetched idea but the presentation will only appeal if the visuals used are appealing otherwise you will have a very difficult time convincing the jury or the investor of your idea. Always remember a picture is worth a thousand words. Your aesthetic is your second most important factor to a successful pitch session, the first one is your script, of course. Make sure your presentation is pleasing to the eye and easy to read. If possible, make it fun and interactive. “When you pitch online, your visuals will moreover be doing most of the talking for your company. Therefore, make sure you send presentations with top-notch design.”
Use as less text as possible, because if people read, they don’t listen. So avoid long texts on the slides and rather focus on images and graphics.
Listen keenly to questions and feedback
As mentioned before, your audience might have questions or feedback after or during your presentation. Always listen attentively to these questions and respond accordingly. This will only be possible if you have mastered your pitch and the idea behind it.
Feedback is also important for you to incorporate in other future presentations or pitches ( to avoid having the same FAQ).
Investors will want you to be able to back up your claims. Have a well-thought-out business plan on-hand to share, so investors can read more if they’d like to. The intention, after all, is that you deliver a powerful pitch, and by the end, their hands are out asking for either your executive summary or your complete business plan. You can always write a short follow up email to recap your key points and action items within 24 hours. Ask if they’d like a copy of the pitch or any other document you showed in your presentation.
Keep a positive countenance and Body language.
Smiling makes you more beautiful, admirable, and approachable. The same thing applies during online meetings. Maintaining eye contact with your audience through your camera. Dress neatly, at least from the waist upwards, and observe a straight sitting posture. Try to read your audience’s body language too, and act accordingly. If you see them interested and wanting to know more then keep going. But if you notice some laxity or dejection then rethink your presentation or stop and engage them to get feedback if they are following through.
10 tips from Frankfurt Valley on how to pitch online was originally published in FrankfurtValley on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.