3 Mistakes to avoid when pitching your startup


hi my name is Aape Pohjavirta and I’m here to talk to you about what kind of challenges people face when they pitch
their startups or their projects. I have some background about this and I’ve been teaching pitching, coaching pitching to startups in tens of acceleration
programs around the world and I’ve seen thousands if not tens of thousands of
pitches by startup founders. So we will focus on the three areas that make it or
break it in a pitch. Now, the most important thing is what
is pitching. Pitching is story telling so it’s not a mechanical process how to
deliver things but you have to make it exciting and you have to engage the
audience in your storytelling because you want to make the audience that is
listening to your pitch your paying customers, you want to make them your fans, or you want to make them your investors. The first part about
your pitch is how you deliver your pitch. Delivery means how you speak, do you hold pauses, are you in a hurry, or are you really deeply engaged and do you have a
passion for sharing this story and engaging the other people your audience
in the story. The other part when you deliver your pitch using breaks and
rhythm and dynamic and build hooks into your story and engage the audience then
you’re using typically visuals behind you. There’s a painting or there’s a image of a problem and there’s text that you use in your pitching deck.
Typically you have two decks. You have one that you use when you present and
that deck has fewer words and then you have the deck that contains textual
information that you send from email to the audience and of course to people who are interested, who you want to have an interest in your startup. What you do not
do is read what you have written on the slides. Never do that. But if you have text
on the slides, give the audience time to read it and remember the number of
bullet points you want to have in your slides in your pitch deck is the same as the number of bullets you want to have in your body, and it’s always zero. The third component of your pitch is the structure. The structure of a good pitch
deck which can be found in the previous video in the series or on lots of
websites around the world my friend Guy Kawasaki has this I think
twelve slides or eight slides format. But the one thing that you have
to do is you have to start with a compelling question ‘why’ because the
pitch remembers a story and you have to give the audience a reason for them
to be present when you pitch. The structure is then clear and concise.
Always present the challenge, your solution, and what that solution means to
the whole package that is your startup or your approach. And always end with an
ask. Ask for something for the audience: “please I want you to become
users of this beautiful product that helps your children sleep soundly every
night for the rest of their lives”. Typical mistakes.
Well there’s one, actually three. The three biggest mistakes in pitching are
lack off training, not training enough and not training proper. So whatever you
do when you think about your pitch or your story, at
around a hundred pitches, you’re becoming adequate, at about thousand you become good, and around ten thousand presentations, you’re really good. So
that’s what you have to aim for. Remember to practice your pitch, listen to yourself, record yourself with a device that has an
audio/video capability and then play it to your friends, play to your parents, play it to your significant other, and look at their eyes and look at their faces
and ask them the question do you understand what is it I’m doing,
do you believe in my team, do you think we’re as good as we ourselves think. If
you remember to create a good structure if you look at the advantages you have,
build a good nice visual package even spend some money there and practice a
lot you’ll be a pitching superstar and I the world will be proud of you!
Thank you.

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