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Johan Lejdung
Johan Lejdung

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Pitching your idea - Things I've learned

Whether you are working hard on a side project, or just started building your company you are going to communicate your idea sometime. And most likely you are going to want someone to invest time or money in your idea.

I’ve been doing a lot of pitches together with my cofounder for our startup ChainTraced lately. As a practise I’ve written down a couple of reflections and things I’ve learned.

I’m going to keep it short and consice, so lets dig in! 📚

Presenting in person 🎤

Practise your on-stage energy, posture and tone of voice. Looking calm and secure is more imporant than you might think. Competition is fierce! You want to stand out in every positive way you can and you don’t want to bore your listeners.

With slides in person 🌟

Use the slides to enhance your pitch, but don't count on them to carry the entire pitch. Interact with your slides as a presenter, guide your audience through the presentation. Replace long text with images, graphs, titles and list/points. Reduce potential distractions in the slides, such as moving images and too much text.

More than one? 😄😅

If possible, avoid having too many people present. Synchronise your on-stage energies and tone of voice and make sure the hand-offs are woven into the presentation, don’t switch back and forth. Especially if there is a microphone or other physical item involved. The slight pause needed to transfer the item is enough to ruin the flow.


Online pitch 🧑‍💻

If you are pitching online, give a bit more attention to the presentation. Make sure it looks good, has a coherent flow and doesn’t have distractions in it. Guiding the listener through your presentation is more important now that you are online, you can’t physically point at the slides so make sure they are self explanatory or make use of animations.

Time it! ⏱

Make sure that your pitch doesn't go on for too long, or too short. Depending on the platform you are presenting on, you want to make sure you have time for questions or at the very least book a followup meeting if you are talking to an investor.

Know your content 📚

I’m not much for practicing, but that doesn’t stop me from studying. If you know your content you are prepared to go "off script" if needed. A little bit of practicing together with a deep knowledge of the content have served me well.


Build story 💭

Make your pitch engaging by building a story around the problem you are solving. Done correctly, this engages the audience to want to understand the problem and how you are solving it. Engagement obviously greatly increases your chances to stand out 👏

Keep it simple 🏕

Don’t underestimate the complexity of the problem and your solution. Replace jargon with common words, and don’t go overboard on explanations. Try the pitch on a family member or a friend to help identify the pain points, where they fall off.

I hope this has been of use, either way it was a good practice for me to writing down some reflections. I don’t do it nearly enough 🙃 I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments.

If you liked this micro-blog sharing it with friends on Twitter is greatly appreciated!

Images (in order):
Photo by Tool., Inc on Unsplash
Photo by William Iven on Unsplash
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

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