Thoroughly enjoyed delivering the luncheon keynote for the Ignite Clean Energy Summitt in Boston for the MIT Center for Enterprise.
Based on feedback from the group, they found the following tips particularly helpful in POPing the pitches they were to present to venture capitalists the following day.
POP! Your Pitch Tip #1: Say something in the first 30 seconds that gets peoples’ eyebrows up, or they’ll go back to their Blackberries.
POP! Your Pitch Tip #2. The purpose of a venture capital pitch is NOT to get funding; it’s to get a follow-up meeting.
POP! Your Pitch Tip #3. Turn audience members into word-of-mouth advertisers by crafting your USP into a rhythmic catchphrase people can repeat, word for word.
POP! Your Ptich Tip #4. Insert a one-minute story about how you originated your idea so decision-makers connect with you on a personal (right-brained) as well as professional (left-brained) level.
POP! Your Pitch Tip #5. Your confidence is indicated by the volume of your voice. If people can’t hear you, they conclude you don’t have the confidence or clout to carry off your venture.
POP! Your Pitch Tip #6. Your business name is a deal-maker or deal-breaker. Do people “get” your business name the first time they hear it? If they don’t understand it, they can’t relate to it and they won’t want it.
POP! Your Pitch Tip #7. PROPS! When you hold up a sample of your product, people SEE what you’re SAYING which makes it infinitely more compelling.
POP! Your Pitch Tip #8. Tower, don’t cower. Leadership potential is measured by posture. A fig-leaf position means you have something to hide. Hunched shoulders and a tucked-down head are signs of tentativeness. Adopt an athletic stance (feet shoulder-width apart), lift your chin and make steady eye contact with everyone in the room at least once to command respect.
POP! Your Pitch Tip #9. The two most powerful words in a pitch? “For example.” Back up each claim with a real-life example of a satisfied client or successful project so investors know you’ve delivered results before and can be trusted to do so again.
POP! Your Pitch Tip #10. Don’t just ask for the sale – plant a specific action seed by telling them where to find you immediately afterwards. For example, “I’m Chris, in the green jacket, with CleanerGreenerNow. I’ll be over there (point) in the back corner at the next break. I welcome your questions and would be glad to provide specific details on how we’re going to scale this in the next 12 months.”