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Pitching at Slush? How to prepare

Now that Slush is just around the corner, it is time to start working on your pitch. For those of you participating in the Slush 100 pitching competition, make sure you make the most out of your minutes on the stage.

I was pitching LiiD at Slush two years ago and we got lots of visibility, several clients and few investors due to our pitch. Last year we did not pitch on stage, but as you meet lots of people at Slush there will be several opportunities to pitch of stage as well. So make sure you know what you want to say!

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A great pitch is depending on two things, what you say and how you say it. You need to include certain building blocks in your pitch, but you also need to be convincing. You can’t just present your facts, you need to sell them. In this blog I’ll start out by going through the essential parts of the pitch, and after that I’ll explain what will take your pitch from a good one to a great one. A good pitch should include the following parts and preferably in the order below.

You do want to start out with the most important things and that is WHAT you do and WHY.

1. Who are you!

State your name, don’t explain much more, because the pitch is not about you, it’s about your company and the awesome things you will achieve.

2. What is the problem you will solve?

In my opinion this is the most important part. Get the audience to understand that there is a real problem. Sell them the problem and they will be more likely to buy the solution, too. No matter how great your product is, if the audience doesn’t understand the problem they will not get excited about the solution.

3. What is your solution?

How do you solve the problem? Why is this an awesome solution. Try to get them to think HALLELUJAH, that is exactly what we need. Don’t do a live demo as you are short on time, but make sure you have a picture or something to show to make people understand that you have more than just an idea in your head.

4. Is there a trend?

If there is a global trend that your solution fits into, like digitalization or something else, make sure you mention that the timing for this product is SO right.

5. The market

How big is the market, who will buy your service, which industry are you focusing on?

6. Competitors

Are there competitors and how do you differ from them? Don’t be afraid to say you have competition, all great products have. If you say there is no competition, people will most likely think you haven’t done your research.

7. Business model

How will you make money? Will the product be free to trial, will you sell it through direct sales or partners, will you license it?

8. Early traction

Tell the audience what have you achieved so far and be proud of your results. If you can make calculations on how you will grow in the next months, tell them that. If you have no revenue make sure you mention how much your pilot users love you.

9. The Team

Why are you the perfect team for this? What kind of skills and knowledge do you have that makes your team succeed.

10. How to end

Ask a question at the end, why are you pitching? what do you want from the audience? End with a firm oneliner and Thank you!

A great pitch is however more than this, a great pitch captures the audience and makes them want to be part of your story.

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Make sure you get the audience excited

How can you do that then?
Well my
first advice is to pick your best player. It doesn’t have to be the CEO pitching if he’s an introvert who freeze while talking in front of people. Choose the one that feels most comfortable on the stage.

My second tip is to be excited. Real excitement is easily transferrable.

My third tip is to practise as much as you can and make sure you know the beginning of your pitch by heart. If you get off to a good start it’s much more likely that you’ll remember the rest of the pitch as well.

Fourt, speak clearly and use short and easy words and sentences. Both because it will be easier for you to remember what to say, but also because it will be easier for the audience to understand you. Also assume, nobody knows anything, so keep it stupid simple.

Fifth, try to tell a story, as stories with beginnings and endings are more entertaining and easy to remember.

Sixt, avoid bulletpoints on your slides. Bullets or lists on why your product is so awesome are boring. Try to have attention grabbing pictures instead.

Seventh, put on a show, be a rockstar and entertain your audience. It’s your minutes on the stage and you want to make sure they remember you.

Tip number eight is remember to smile and try to have fun. Don’t take yourself too seriously .Remember why you are doing what you do


My last tip is remember that this is YOUR company, YOU are the expert, YOU are the one who will change the world. SHOW it on stage.

And yes, I have my favourite. Take a look at my favourite pitch.  

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