Pitch Perfect!

Pitching tips for startups from our CEO Paavo Beckman, who has come a long way since his first pitching in Silicon Valley, CA, when he was thrown to the wolves and could barely speak english. Paavo is nowadays an experienced public speaker and is asked to attends many business seminars as the guest voice.

Paavo @ Helsingin seudun Kauppakamari

Paavo @ Helsingin seudun Kauppakamari


1.     Be Charismatic!

Try to get attention with one sentence that makes you more interesting than a regular speaker. Carefully craft a phrase that makes people want to listen to you, because you know what you are talking about. For example:” Hey! How’s it going? Today I’m here to tell you how our company got a deal worth millions of dollars.”


2.     Feel it!

If you’re not excited or enthusiastic about what you are saying, other people aren’t going to be either. Believe in what you are saying and don’t monotonically rattle on until people fall asleep.


3.     AIM!

You need to know your target audience and edit your content accordingly. For example, if you are talking to investors try to tweak your pitch by giving examples on how other investors (their competitors) have functioned in different situations and what the outcome has been. On the other hand, if you are selling your product/service make sure your audience knows how you can cut their costs or bring income. When you have medias in your audience try to tweak your pitch into sounding more like a story. Give them something to write about.


4.    One leader.

Never have too many people on stage. There should only be one main character on stage who is the face of the operation and who people focus on.


5.     Make them feel pain (not literally).

This sounds brutal but it works. You need to be able to paint the bigger picture and show your target group where they are going wrong. You have to evoke emotion, emotional pain, fear even. You can compare this to the basics of selling something. First you need to create the need for your product/service. When your pitching you need to create a problem in a way, a problem so severe they’re going to want to do something about it.


6.      Offer relief - the solution.

This solution of course is what you bring to the table. How your product/service is going to change their world and take care of their problem.


7.      Special skills.

No matter what field you work in, there’s (in most cases) competition. Make sure you point out your team’s special skills. What sets you apart from your competition and how these special skills of yours are the best solution for their problem.


8.     Go-To-Market.

What are the things that will insure your audience that the markets are going to go crazy about your idea? Show them how you are going to turn your idea into reality and proof that it’s not just going to stay as an idea.

9.     Show them the money!

What is your business potential? How do you make money with your idea and how much money they can make, what are the prospects? Show them numbers.


10.    Call to action.

Set a short term goal. What do you want to get out of pitching to this particular audience? Tell your audience what you are after, what you have already accomplished and tell them clearly what you want out of them and tell them how to contact you. Your goal can either be meeting with new potential clients and investors or getting funding. Be concrete and clear.


And of course remember to practice! The less time you have to pitch, the more you need to practice, because there's just simply no room for errors. 


Good luck pitching everyone!