Getting it right can mean the difference between success and failure and that is why most people feel so much pressure to get them right the first time. First impressions really are vitally important, and coming across as boastful or even too zealous can kill even the best pitch before it really gets off the ground. Finding the right balance of passion and confidence, while providing the right information in the right format can be difficult, but once you’ve crafted a formula for pitching your startup perfectly, you will have no trouble drawing in investors, clients, and partners. But how do you find that balance? Here are five mistakes to avoid when creating a pitch for your startup:
1. Being too pushy
When you are pitching your startup it is important to be assertive and persuasive, while avoiding the trap of being too pushy. No one likes to feel that they are being sold something, even if they arrive at your meeting knowing that you are going to try to convince them to do business with your new company. Even VC’s and angel investors don’t want to hear just about what’s excellent and perfect about your company, they also want to hear the challenges, as the challenges are the real reason someone will be willing to invest in your startup. If you start listing off your accomplishments and how spectacular your startup is right out of the gate, not only will your audience feel like you are being pushy, they are less likely to see the need to invest or partner with you.
On the other hand, if you use personal anecdotes to show (rather than tell) the value of your startup, your audience will be able to come to their own decision about you and your company. Don’t be boastful—being modest about your accomplishments, even if they are incredible, is endearing and those listening to your pitch won’t feel as though they are being force fed an opinion.
2. Relying on buzzwords
Many people will rely heavily on buzzwords when writing their pitch, because they are easy to use and seem to convey a lot of information about your startup in a single phrase. What they really do, however, is confuse your audience. Saying that your company is a “game changer,” may sound like a good thing, but the phrase itself is essentially meaningless. It does not provide any real information about your startup and what it intends to do to change the industry. Plus, these phrases have likely been said a hundred times by a hundred other entrepreneurs.
Instead of relying on buzzwords to build your startup pitch deck, use real stats and real, quantifiable information. The same goes for over complicated spreadsheets full of complex financials. Save those for the accountants, and only show well formatted and simple spreadsheets, if you do at all. No matter who you are pitching to, they should be able to instantly understand what you are talking about, and see that …Read more