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Remote pitching: a brief guide for entrepreneurs and investors.

19 Mar 2020

Remote pitching will become the new normal, for the time-being at least. We’ll all soon become experts at it, but to accelerate the transition here’s a list of tips, for entrepreneurs and investors. We’ve gathered them from our experiences this week to make sure everyone gets the most out of the pitch.

Entrepreneur

Preparation: Invite the right people; update your calendar invite; reach out before hand – introduce yourselves virtually and perhaps with your deal lead contact, ask for a bit of background about those you will be presenting to. Send the deck you will be presenting ahead of time.  Think about having a Google doc – perhaps people can edit/comment ahead of time.

Tools: Use a video call/tool that people will already have and be used to (e.g. Zoom, Google Hangouts).

Ground rules: Spend 5 minutes at the top explaining how you will run the meeting; how you will take questions; get everyone on mute. Have a ‘second’ in the meeting – watching for hands being raised, taking time, navigating the pitch more tightly. Take a ‘register’ – make sure everyone is there and don’t forget to check whether anyone is dialing in from phone and computer.

Two Way Dialogue: Ask a question to your audience early on to try and encourage interaction/two way communication so it is not a monologue.

Harder to build rapport: Don’t forget this part is harder, so try to build the human as much as possible. Ensure face/gestures can be seen, even though you’ll be a thumbnail whilst sharing the screen. Be dynamic, high energy, varying tone, varying pace. Work on your storytelling. Listening and pausing is more important than ever so you don’t all get lost in a ‘you go’ ‘I go’ talk over each other.

Sharing Screen: Don’t forget to close down your emails/communication channels so only the presentation is being shared.  Nothing like accidentally reading all your emails. Start each slide, noting the deck page number in case people are following the deck separately.

Address Covid as part of the pitch. Talk about how your thinking has changed as a result – mitigation as well as opportunity.

Close strong: lots of intangibles are lost, so summarise; hit your key points powerfully at the end. Leave on a high.

Investors

Manage the pitch more tightly. There must be a clear deal lead

Suggest how the meeting will run on your side – e.g. “we won’t interrupt for the first 10-15 minutes; then we want to cover x, y, z”.

Deal lead: ensure you have questions ready to stimulate conversation

No eating, weird backgrounds, or headphones that don’t work!

Ensure videos all on to create rapport-building

Think about optimal number of attendees on your side vs presenter side

Entrepreneurs and investors alike will be equally keen to make this work. So the main message is, don’t hold back and tap into the passion that drove you to create your business in the first place!

We would like to continue to evolve this list so please get in touch if you have any additions (melissa@octopusventures.com)

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