Nailing the pitch: presenting

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Presenting

Attitude.

Be confident. Maybe you’re worried about what investors will think of your disability, but it’s not important. They care about your ability to run your business. Show self assurance with your body language: stand up straight, don’t slouch. Don’t cross your arms. Smile.
Be enthusiastic. Show that you’re excited about your business!

Appearance.

You’re the face of your business. Present it well by looking sharp.

Dress to impress.
Your outfit will depend on the audience and venue: is it family sitting in your living room, or is it a group of Venture Capitalists (VCs) in a formal setting?
 

  • Wear clean, wrinkle-free clothes.
  • Pick colours that complement each other.
  • Ask friends for feedback.
  • Consider wearing professional pieces like a stylish blazer, dress or suit.
  • Hair doesn’t need to be styled a certain way, but keep it neat and presentable.

Awareness.

If possible, get a feel for the space that you’re in beforehand.

  • Make sure you don’t block the screen if you’re showing slides.
  • Know where your audience is and face them to make eye contact.

Tech check.

Check everything first to ensure it works: batteries, slideshow, clicker, and any software.
Check your web connection as well as audio and video cables and connectors.
Have a backup. Bring another USB stick, extra batteries, and anything else that might stop working.
Prototype. Bring the best functioning version of your product to demo. Consider having a backup for that too.

Timing.

Be quick. Don’t take longer than five to 10 minutes, depending on the venue and audience. Investors value their time. Don’t lose their support by draining their attention span.
Be concise. What problem does your business solve? Use simple language and avoid industry jargon. This will help keep your presentation short and easy to understand.

The handshake.

All good business deals end here.

Make sure you know where your audience is sitting so you can find them to shake hands.
If you’re unsure how close they are, tell them you’ll shake their hand first.
Extend yours with confidence for them to take.
Keep a firm but friendly grip.

 

You eat, sleep, and breathe your business. If investors reject your proposal, you’ll still have plenty of opportunities for pitching. No entrepreneur gets it right the first time, but you’ll find success with enough practice and persistence.