Pitching is a word heavily used in the startup scene, but rarely outside of it. It could be also called presenting your startup or giving a marketing speech to promote your startup, often aimed at finding investors for your company.
The audience is usually full of investors, or on big conferences hundreds, even thousands of entrepreneurs like yourself.
How do you master this art and stand out from the crowd?
When we recently met Guy Kawasaki, one of the most renowned business speakers and evangelist for Canva, we had to ask him about the perfect pitch. His answer did not waste a word: "10-20-30, and black background.”
He often speaks of using at most 10 slides with 20 minutes for a pitch, and using at least a 30 point font for the text on the slides. Filling an hour is not difficult, he tends to joke that with a 20 minute presentation you can fill an hour when using Powerpoint. Partly the joke comes from his long history at Apple, where he served as an evangelist in the 1980s and 1990s, but partly it's also a fact many of us have noticed in real life.
However, most startups don’t have an hour or 20 minutes to present, and rarely do they even have the luxury of 5-6 minutes for a pitch.
More often you have to get by with one or three minutes. And then you have to focus fully on condensing your message, just like Guy Kawasaki in his comment - cut all unnecessary words and focus on just the key message.
We turned to our pitching guru Mike Bradshaw to ask what an early stage startup would definitely need to make clear:
Who has the problem?
What is the problem?
Why would someone give you money?
What is your business model?
What market you are going after?
Who are the people behind this?
What do you need?