Pitch Above and Beyond the rest.
Covid-19 accelerated the demand for technology and was an accelerator for startup ideas to formation. For the past few years, Milestone|3 has had the honor to work with exciting, market-moving and outstanding startup organizations. Additionally, we have had the honor to work with those who aspire to be outstanding in the future. For those startups who are looking to stand apart in the eyes of investors or clients, allow us to share with you a few observations and tips to get you the attention you deserve:
1 / Be Likeable
One of the most common practices of client-facing professionals is to try and build rapport with their clients. Whether it be business partners, investors or potential collaborators – having a common connection is the beginning of the relationship. While we all know this as common knowledge, it is not often common practice.
We have seen many startup entrepreneurs walk into a meeting room without the intention to connect with the others in there. Common reasons are:
- They come from an impressive executive background,
- They think they are smarter than the audience or
- They believe that they have the best technology in the world
With this on top of mind, your behaviors will easily show the side of you which would not impress. Perhaps try to see the audience as having the potential to add value to your business, or even yourself. Understand what they are looking to do, or what their perspective is. Solicit their thoughts on ideas and identify their future aspirations. More importantly, understand why they have such goals. By giving more attention to others, we build the foundation for trust, and that is fundamental for any relationship.
2 / Be Relatable
Putting the audience to live in your world is an art – and it can be quickly achieved with storytelling. Rather than pitching your product’s features, share a story about how your audience could benefit from your product. Give examples of situations which they often come across and show they how their lives could be different with your offering.
When you tell your story of how you can impact their lives, share about the pains that can be overcome just as much as the pleasures which they can achieve in the future. Use examples which pertain to their business in particular, and speak about it with emotion. When doing this, you bring the audience to imagine themselves as the main character of your story, and that’s when their emotions are invested into your story.
3 / Be Understandable
Far too often, messages are communicated with such complexity that the audience loses attention before the pitch is completed. While the intention behind sharing deep technical information is to help the audience understand, more often, it leaves the opposite result. When presenting to the audience, it is your job to make them understand.
Using simple language, with less technical terms helps. Shorter sentences gives them more time to understand. Using terms which they use, creates connection. As for the content – well, to make it more concise – read through it and ask yourself “So What?”. Chances are – that is what the audience is looking to hear.