Part of the process that many start-ups seem to struggle with is poor presentation of their idea and/or business. At Fusionapps, we have weekly encounters with startups that pitch ill-formed ideas for what they hope is the next big software-based business. While some people let their ideas speak for themselves through a well prepared presentation pitch, others fail remarkably at it. We’re not saying you have to be Steve Jobs – but you can certainly aspire to pitch like him.
The Idea is Often Only as Good as the Pitch
Perhaps you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but ideas can certainly be judged on the grounds of their accompanying pitch. No matter your audience – an angel investor, VC or software developer – a poorly presented idea will not look appealing or worth the investment of time or money. A pitch is your way into convincing your audience of the value of your idea, but you won’t be able to inspire any motivation if you can’t properly represent that value.
Although we see many great ideas come through our doors, the ones that really catch our attention are pitched by passionate people who can translate that passion into a clearly represented pitch. You don’t need to be a PowerPoint guru or graphic designer to make your pitch great either. You just need to make sure you clearly and confidently communicate your idea so that it comes across like you thought through every possible detail, every potential pitfall, and every possible challenge that your idea may have.
Make a Check List, Check it Twice
Creating a good pitch isn’t easy per se, but there are definitely solid steps to take that will ease the process. Grow VC has an interesting article in which they detail how to make a pitch that is divided into several steps.
- The Problem. The first step is to identify the problem that your idea endeavors to solve. Many ideas are inspired by the desire to create something missing, or lacking in already existing software. What is the problem that inspired your idea?
- The Solution. Next, of course, is how your idea will attempt to fill that gaping hole that you have just identified. So far, you have presented your audience with a need, hopefully convinced them of the importance of said need and have now presented them with a solution to their recently revealed problems.
- The Market. Although you may have convinced your current audience of the importance of this need that your idea will fulfill, you now need to convince them that other people will agree and seek out your software. If there isn’t a market for your idea, it will not be marketable and therefore not profitable. There has to be a foreseeable future for your idea to grow and spread its roots rather than remain stagnant.
- Reaching the Market. You have your problem, the solution, and a viable market to introduce it to. Now you have to ensure your audience that there is a plan to reach this market. This involves your team’s knowledge base, and is another opportunity to shed light on an idea that holds water.
- Proposed Deal. Finally, end your presentation with the proposed deal only after you have highlighted and properly presented the other steps in your pitch.
A Little Bit of Glamor Goes a Long Way
Don’t forget about the arguably unnecessary, but definitely beneficial aspects of a pitch. Adding an overarching theme to your presentation will help sell your idea, as will an emphasis on the visual rather than text. Clean transitions, a lot of practice and an overall enthusiasm in your presentation will win your audience over and help them see the genius of your idea as you see it.
Learn From Steve:
About Groundhog Day
Each week, “Groundhog Day” features a story based on real-world experiences at Fusionapps that seem to happen over and over again. Our goal is to shine a light on these recurring experiences so that businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs can learn how to make themselves and their businesses smarter and more success.