4 tips to make your Demo Day pitch shine
All day, you live your company. It is your baby, the very essence of your entrepreneurial soul. And demo day is when you finally get to properly pitch it to the people that could take you to the next level.
Demo Day is a rite of passage, if you will, of startup entrepreneurs. After fine tuning, being mentored and pushing boundaries at the startup accelerator, entrepreneurs get to show off their improved plan to potential investors, new business contacts and possible partners.
For Parallel18 Gen1 that day came in August 2016, when 26 startups presented their companies in Puerto Rico. Yes, 26 companies. The demos lasted for almost three hours with only a short presentation between pitches. The dynamic pitches kept the audience interested and, even the entrepreneurs that would fumble the beginning managed to rose to the occasion. Watch here. Their next Demo Day will be on Friday, January 20th and you can register to see the livestream here.
In Sweden, a hundred startups present and compete during Sweden Demo Day, an annual unconference for entrepreneurs and investors. Google started their own Demo Day a few years ago with 11 startups doing five minute presentation each.
No matter how many other startups pitch, time will be limited at your next Demo Day. Here are some points to maximize your pitch.
No one will invest in your amazing product or use your breakthrough app if they cannot understand it. Just as the wording on your work needs to be clear and concise, the same goes for your pitch. Verbiage will tune your audience off your presentation. Concise, strong words will make a lasting impact. Never rely on the premise that, because you’re presenting to business and industry experts, they understand what you’re talking about. Do not dumb nor over complicate your language.
Your audience will have experience in building businesses. They need to know that you are open to new ideas and different solutions. Take the time to recognize *cough*humble brag*cough* the amazing team you have formed. Also recognize the challenges you are expecting and how you are looking to solve them.
Let’s be honest, after a few hours of pitch after pitch, the audience will forget many aspects of your presentation. But there are three key elements that NEED to linger long after you walk off the stage: what is your company, what does it solve, why does that matter. Is it the relax environment? The loud colors?
Keep it dynamic. Keep it light. Projections, numbers, even the drawbacks you currently face are a necessary part of your pitch, but the way you present them could mean an interested audience or someone who starts a grocery list on their head. It is okay to use humor but only if it helps drive your point. Whatever you convey (images, words, even body language) will be the image that investors and insiders will have of your company.
After all those tips here is the most important one: relax. Take a deep breath. You have been preparing for this moment since the inception of your company. In a way, whenever you excitedly talk about your startup, you are giving a bare bones demo to future users, even possible investors. Demo Day is just an extension of that. It is your day to shine. You got this….you also need to get a beer after it’s done.