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Pitch Perfect: 3 Easy Steps to Improving Your Startup Pitch
Very few experiences in my life have been as terrifying as the moment I put what seemed like the cumulative accomplishments of my life on the line. Everything I had worked on over the past years would be judged in five minutes by a seemingly cruel and unforgiving arbiter whose whims could seal my fate.
Was I pitching a startup?
No. I was asking a girl to see Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones.
For an entrepreneur, it can be just as scary to put years of blood, sweat and tears on the line in a five minute pitch to potential investors, as it was for me to ask a girl on a date.
I’ve worked as a public speaking coach for almost ten years, have coached national public speaking champions, and am obsessed with the social research that explains the science of public speaking.
I have seen entrepreneurs pitch at several New Media Ventures events over the past few months and I have noticed three small things entrepreneurs can do that can make a big difference.
A surprising number of entrepreneurs forget this step. I think that’s because when we spend a lot of time immersed in a project, we are unable to see it as someone else would—their brain subconsciously fills any gaps in clarity, making what is mystifying to others clear to them.
To address this challenge, find fresh eyes. Pitch your deck to your grandparents. Pitch it to your kids. Record yourself and watch your own presentation. Practice, practice, and practice some more.
I have seen these 3 simple tips work in practice. They helped one entrepreneur I coached go from being quiet and reserved to being full of power and passion.
This is an example of the value of New Media Ventures. We not only invest in progressive startups, we work with them every step of the way, from polishing their pitches, introducing them to potential customers and investors, and providing strategic advice. Of course, there are limits to what we can accomplish—even NMV can’t salvage the sad spectacle that is my dating life—and we certainly don’t have it all figured out.
What about you? What are your favorite pitching tips? Tweet @newmediaventures with #pitchtip to let us know.