Here’s something we’ve come to realise…
A pitch is a fairy tale and the founder has to make it come true.
We help tech startups pitch investors and clients. It sounds simple, but it can actually be a lengthy process because most pitches are not stories that will inspire their audience.
Too often presentations to investors feel bloated and tossed together. Most are terrible.
They become Frankenstein’s monster – a messy kit of parts.
The problem is that information on its own doesn’t sell.
Only stories sell.
The hard work building a product will be wasted if the ‘shop window’ – the presentation of your wares – is a mess.
Large venture firms see 1000+ pitch decks a year yet each General Partner makes only 3 investments a year, on average.
Seed firms invest in far more projects, but they still wade through an equally large amount of slides.
So it’s very probable your pitch will be ignored and your ideas forgotten.
Here’s three things to bear in mind…
The slides of a pitch represent the tip of a credibility iceberg.
The bulk of your work to establish credibility will focus on your critical business assumptions and your tests to validate them. Investors will want to believe that your testing methods will help you discover how to sustainably deliver customers and growth.
Your startup is a discovery engine.
So each slide has to show what you’ve validated, how consistent you’ve been with your testing and the unique insights that are powering your growth.
Your audience believes you will fail.
They’ve seen it all before. So with each slide their cynicism must erode as you tackle each of their doubts with hard evidence.
See your pitch as a fairy tale.
You’re telling a story of how your ability to discover a magic kingdom of bountiful sales and happy customers will reap rewards on all involved.
But… investors will only trust you if they understand the intelligence of the tests you’re running, and the value of the insight you’re accumulating.
A wonderful by-product of all this work is that your new understanding becomes a gift to yourself and your team.
Everyone finally understands what they are working on.
Great, so how do I do it?
To create a compelling story you will need to understand the business assumptions you’re testing, and how they fit into the model for growth you’ve decided upon.
For example, it’s not enough to state how you’re making money, you need to understand how a growth flywheel will be set in motion.
Likewise it’s not sufficient to claim you’ve traction in the market, you need to demonstrate how your consistent market testing has discovered unique insights that are helping you scale.
Here’s 3 pitching considerations we coach founders on;
1. Is your pitch an accurate shop window for how your business works?
The audience must be able to understand how you make money and why your business is working.
2. Does your story deliver a ‘no-brainer’ response?
The ‘Value Arch’ of your story needs to demonstrate how a significant (urgent, frequent, large and lucrative) problem is being solved through your clever experiments.
3. Does your pitch deliver credibility?
Credibility is made up of 4 interacting parts:
1) The credibility of your team’s experience and actions
2) The validity of the discoveries made through your traction in the market
3) The unique tech, problem, revenue or insights your team have generated
4) Your model for revenue and profit growth.
When each area is supported by validated insights you will begin to establish credibility that you can deliver.
Hope this helps!