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PERFECT
YOUR
PITCH
Paul Ark
October 2020
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
Pitching your startup is like a golf ...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
MESSAGE FORM DELIVERY
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
MESSAGE:
MAKING YOUR POINT
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
THE HOOK
Problem
Solution
Market size...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
30
number of seconds you have
to enga...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
Problems & Solutions
• How big is the...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
Market Size, Business Model &Traction...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
Competition
• 2x2 (2-factor) matrix c...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
Team
• The point of the team page is ...
• Capital?
• How much money?
• How much runway?
• How will you spend the
money?
• New employees?
• What positions? How man...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
10 sec
1 minute
3-5 minutes
30-60 min...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
30-60 minutes
10 sec
Come up with a 1...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
Don’t fall victim to
the pitch compet...
FORM:
STRUCTURE, FLOW &
APPEARANCE MATTERS
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
Be like Steve (Jobs) &Ted (X): great ...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
A picture is worth a thousand words (...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
A picture is worth a thousand words (...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
A picture is worth a thousand words (...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
A picture is worth a thousand words (...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
A picture is worth a thousand words (...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use smal...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
How difficult is this to read?
How di...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
How difficult is this to read?
How di...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
Slides should ENHANCE your message, n...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
Tips on creating competition pitch de...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
Exercise: Flying blind
Do all of your...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
DELIVERY:
BETTER PUBLIC SPEAKING
Public speaking is about
more than just what you say
Where you look
How well you listen
How you stand
How you move around
...
Back straight!
Don’t slouch!
Posture:
Wide stance, feet pointed straight;
strains thighs & hips over long periods
“I’m doi...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
Until you become master of the stage,...
In conversations, people tend to focus on eyes and hands
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
a) Start in the
center, 1/3 of
the wa...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
What NOT to do with your hands
DON’T:...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
Using gestures
AVOID: exaggerated ges...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
Too
fast
Too
slow
Too loud
Too quiet
Train yourself to eliminate
filler words
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
Have a conversation, don’t
deliver a ...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
Tips on pitching via video call: keep...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
Tips on pitching via video call: make...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
Tips on pitching via video call: cont...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
Tips on pitching via video call: avoi...
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
- Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
Tips on pitching via video call
Disem...
Last piece of advice:
PRACTICE, PRACTICE,
PRACTICE!
Thank you!
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Perfect Your Pitch (@ The Hive)

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Startup workshop on refining your messaging, drafting better pitch decks, and effective public speaking & presentation. Hosted by Gobi Partners and The Hive Bangkok.

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Perfect Your Pitch (@ The Hive)

  1. 1. PERFECT YOUR PITCH Paul Ark October 2020
  2. 2. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin Pitching your startup is like a golf swing… …many things have to work together well for success, and only a few things need to go wrong to screw it all up
  3. 3. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin MESSAGE FORM DELIVERY
  4. 4. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin MESSAGE: MAKING YOUR POINT
  5. 5. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin THE HOOK Problem Solution Market size Business model Traction Competition Team THE ASK Anatomy of a (great) pitch (courtesy of ) Demo goes here No B.S. Don’t be shy; don’t ask, don’t get! Get your audience’s attention quickly! Talk about your competitive advantages
  6. 6. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin 30 number of seconds you have to engage your audience before you lose them Tell a jokeTell a story Ask a thought- provoking question Ask for a show of handsMake a bold statement
  7. 7. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin Problems & Solutions • How big is the problem? Can the scale of the problem be quantified? • Do people care? Is the problem big & important enough that it needs a solution? What makes your solution so innovative, exciting, and unique?
  8. 8. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin Market Size, Business Model &Traction • MARKET SIZE – standard TAM-SAM-SOM framework; quantify in dollar amounts • BUSINESS MODEL – will customers pay? How will you monetize? • TRACTION – everyVC will expect you to use a hockey stick chart. Why is your industry exponential, and why does the inflection point occur when you predict?
  9. 9. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin Competition • 2x2 (2-factor) matrix communicates the 2 factors you think are most critical to success in your industry • Checklists allow you to compare product/service features that drive purchase decisions • Never say you don’t have competition. At the very least, the status quo is your competition • No competition = a) you don’t know who your competitors are, or b) your industry is not economically attractive enough to attract competition YOU Feature 1 Feature 2 Feature 3 Feature 4 Feature 5
  10. 10. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin Team • The point of the team page is to highlight that the company is lead by key people in key positions with the right skills, experiences & credentials • It is not about a group photo; limit the number to key executive positions needed to drive company growth to the next milestone • Add a page for key investors and advisors ONLY IF they are making a significant and tangible contribution
  11. 11. • Capital? • How much money? • How much runway? • How will you spend the money? • New employees? • What positions? How many? • New markets? • Which markets? • Why? Synergy? • Market potential? • New customers, vendors, or partners? Don’t forget THE ASK
  12. 12. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin 10 sec 1 minute 3-5 minutes 30-60 minutes This is your 1-sentence “throughline” (connecting theme that ties together each narrative element ) This is your 60-second pitch, your “networking event” introduction Adding is easy, cutting is hard! This is your standard pitch competition length This is how long you might get to pitch a VC “For each additional minute I get to speak, what is the most important piece of information to add?”
  13. 13. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin 30-60 minutes 10 sec Come up with a 1-sentence description of your company that you can communicate in 10 seconds or less 1 minute With 50 additional seconds, you can add 3-5 brief pieces of information, or 2-3 slightly more detailed pieces of information. What are the most critical things to add? Exercise: Layering your message 3-5 minutes For every minute of pitch time, you have enough time to present 2-3 slides in sufficient (but not overwhelming detail). • For 3 minutes, what are your 6-9 most important slides? • For 4 minutes, what 2-3 slides would you add on top? • For 5 minutes, what 2-3 slides would you add on top?
  14. 14. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin Don’t fall victim to the pitch competition “Death Zone”: master the Q&A!
  15. 15. FORM: STRUCTURE, FLOW & APPEARANCE MATTERS
  16. 16. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
  17. 17. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin
  18. 18. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin Be like Steve (Jobs) &Ted (X): great aesthetics • Limit 1 concept per slide • Minimize text; be visual & graphical • Use a consistent font, and limit font size variations to 3 or less • Use simple colors with high contrast • Cater to the person with the worst seat in the room
  19. 19. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin A picture is worth a thousand words (and numbers) Instead of busy & confusing tables…
  20. 20. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin A picture is worth a thousand words (and numbers) …use a few simple charts or illustrations to make your point quickly
  21. 21. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin A picture is worth a thousand words (and numbers) Boring, difficult to read
  22. 22. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin A picture is worth a thousand words (and numbers) Easy to view & understand
  23. 23. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin A picture is worth a thousand words (and numbers) Easy to view & understand
  24. 24. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! Don’t use small fonts! 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  25. 25. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin How difficult is this to read? How difficult is this to read? How difficult is this to read? How difficult is this to read? How difficult is this to read? How difficult is this to read? How difficult is this to read?
  26. 26. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin How difficult is this to read? How difficult is this to read? How difficult is this to read? How difficult is this to read? How difficult is this to read? How difficult is this to read? How difficult is this to read?
  27. 27. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin Slides should ENHANCE your message, not BE your message.They’re a guide, not a script! “Could you pitch your startup without slides?” Be aware of the differences between a pitch deck for competition vs. fundraising
  28. 28. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin Tips on creating competition pitch decks for • Keep the top right corner free of content, especially your logo • Keep files sizes small and animations to a minimum; not all wifi connections are created equally • Make sure your face is well-lit, background distractions eliminated, and your laptop camera is at face/eye-level
  29. 29. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin Exercise: Flying blind Do all of your pitches without slides What happens if all your tech fails?
  30. 30. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin DELIVERY: BETTER PUBLIC SPEAKING
  31. 31. Public speaking is about more than just what you say Where you look How well you listen How you stand How you move around How you gesture and point How quickly and loudly you speak
  32. 32. Back straight! Don’t slouch! Posture: Wide stance, feet pointed straight; strains thighs & hips over long periods “I’m doing martial arts kata!” Feet angled inward; bad for the knees “I really have to pee!” Shoulder length apart, pointed out at 45 degree angle; strong, stable position “I’m ready to kick butt!” Feet close together, pointed straight; unstable stance, tiring over long periods “I’m an Academy Award statuette!”listen to your mother!
  33. 33. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin Until you become master of the stage, have a clearly defined and contained “circle/zone of movement” • Align body in direction you plan to move • Half step in that direction (left foot leads left, right foot leads right) • Do the same to return to default position • Move in opposite direction • Give each position at least 10-15 seconds
  34. 34. In conversations, people tend to focus on eyes and hands
  35. 35. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin a) Start in the center, 1/3 of the way back; 5-10 sec b) Eye contact with 2-3 people in front rows; 5-10 sec c) Left side near front; 5-10 sec d) Left side near back; 5-10 sec e) Right side near back; 5-10 sec f) Right side near front; 5-10 sec Eye contact: engage the room, share the love
  36. 36. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin What NOT to do with your hands DON’T: cross your arms Appears negative & closed-minded DON’T: hide your hands behind your back Appears dishonest DON’T: put your hands in your pocket Appears insecure and powerless
  37. 37. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin Using gestures AVOID: exaggerated gestures; distracting! TRY: to keep most gestures contained within a “strike zone”
  38. 38. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin Too fast Too slow Too loud Too quiet
  39. 39. Train yourself to eliminate filler words
  40. 40. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin Have a conversation, don’t deliver a sales pitch How would you explain what you do to your mother?
  41. 41. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin Tips on pitching via video call: keep the camera at face/eye-level
  42. 42. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin Tips on pitching via video call: make sure your face is well & evenly lit
  43. 43. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin Tips on pitching via video call: contrast between your clothes and your background surroundings
  44. 44. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin Tips on pitching via video call: avoid distracting backgrounds & filters
  45. 45. “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” - Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin Tips on pitching via video call Disembodied head; clothes blends into background Top of head cut-off Busy backgrounds may be distracting Backlighting can make face difficult to see Not enough lighting on face
  46. 46. Last piece of advice: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Thank you!
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    Nov. 3, 2020

Startup workshop on refining your messaging, drafting better pitch decks, and effective public speaking & presentation. Hosted by Gobi Partners and The Hive Bangkok.

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