How To Pitch Your Start-Up With A Perfect Presentation

Being a startup founder is an exciting opportunity, but the road to success can be rocky. There are many challenges to face as you grow your idea into a booming business. 

Securing enough capital to get off the ground and build an independent company is the first and most critical challenge that any startup founder faces. To accomplish this, your amazing ideas must be shared with the investors, and the need for profit will fuel your motivation to practice your pitching skills. With all the competitors around you, you are compelled to captivate the investors with a great presentation.

presentation

Will it be intimidating? Yes, but fear can be a motivator. With the right approach, correct tools, and clever tactics, you can build a pitch presentation that perfectly showcases your strengths and skills.

Build A Pitch Deck

The presentation that startups typically give to investors, often called a ‘pitch deck,’ is very different from typical slideshow presentations. You need to stand out by using a format that works for the listeners. 

To create an effective presentation, you have to master these basics:

  • Know your audience. Don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to pitch planning. Learn about the specific investors or firms that you’re planning to impress and determine how you fit into their approach in doing business. Sell yourself as a partner.
  • Solve your problem. Everyone wants to know what makes your idea special and worthy of investment. You should also be able to demonstrate various solutions to problems that the market has not addressed yet. Sell your business by filling your presentation with information that showcases your effective problem-solving skills. 
  • Express your passion. Don’t rely on dry facts and figures. While pure charisma isn’t the only path to gaining the investor’s confidence, your attitude will show investors that you’re fully committed to your idea. Remember what motivated you to start the business, and let it shine through your content. 

Use Your Resources To Create Your Pitch

Many founders invest a considerable amount of time refining their business plans before securing funding. You might already have several resources spread out across different files and formats—resources that will soon turn into your pitch deck, whether they’re sales charts or marketing collateral mock-ups.

How do you get data from a Word document or a PDF brochure into your presentation? A fully-featured PDF solution is the answer. This software provides you the tools to quickly convert PDFs and other files into formats that you can use for your pitch deck. These tools are also ideal for creating custom handouts for your presentation. 

With that being said, you should remember to keep everyone focused on you during the pitch, not only on the digital slideshow or the handouts provided.

Keep It Simple And Straightforward

Investors are busy, and you’re probably not the only one who’s supposed to present for that day. Don’t give a 45-minute presentation that contains lots of unnecessary information. Instead, aim for twenty minutes of high-quality content and go straight to the point. 

The investors are not interested in your childhood nor personal life. They want to know what you can put on the table and how your ideas can become assets in the long run. Put yourself in an investor’s shoes: what would impress you the most?

Include Rich Information In Every Slide

Your pitch deck shouldn’t overwhelm investors—and it shouldn’t bore them either. Incorporating eye-catching graphics, stats, and charts is a smart idea if you can back them up with a concise and informative discussion. 

You also want to keep your presentation short, so creating a hundred slides is not the right approach. Typical pitch decks average about ten slides, and you’ll need to make each one count. Your PDF editor will come in handy at this point. Converting a PDF page into an image, for example, makes it easier to insert into a PowerPoint presentation.

Be Ready For Questions Anytime

Investors love to ask questions, and they love to see if you’re quick enough to bounce back from an unexpected interruption. Questions might start coming in while you’re in the middle of your pitch, so try to anticipate them. 

When someone asks you a question, take a brief moment to organize the ideas in your head, then provide a clear answer. Don’t try to ignore the query by changing the subject or resuming your presentation abruptly. 

If you don’t have a strong answer, it’s okay to be honest. However, don’t miss any opportunity to make it up for the audience—you might be able to look for an answer during your presentation. 

Make yourself a printable cheat sheet and presentation notes with fast facts. This will help you anticipate possible questions that the audience might throw at you. 

It’s Not Just A Saying: Practice Makes Perfect

Building a stunning pitch deck and incorporating exciting stats or graphics is essential, and so is finalizing the style of delivery you’re planning to use during your presentation. However, you only get one shot at impressing an investor, so don’t forget to practice rigorously and build your confidence. 

The best way to calm the nerves, deliver a confident pitch, and showcase an impressive presentation is to practice. Know what you have to say, when to say it, and how to get back on track after interruptions. Your thorough preparation and determination will come to fruition—go ahead and ace that pitch.

Ben Liu

eCommerce Director at Kofax

Ben Liu’s an experienced eCommerce director in Irvine, California with more than 15 years building brands and refining the development of revenue streams. After generating more than $100 million of incremental revenue improvements in previous positions for heavy hitters across the tech industry, Ben joined the Kofax team. Now a driving force behind innovative marketing efforts and the growing popularity of Kofax Power PDF with SMBs, he continues to improve outreach via innovative chat bots, data-driven marketing analysis, and a dedication to consumer-first content. By bringing an engineer’s eye for detail to Kofax along with a passion for helping brands reach their potential, Ben’s charting a course for continued success at Kofax.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.