Pitching during a pandemic

Today we celebrate John’s new book, Get Funded! and offer a bit of advice on how to get things done in a pandemic.

If you’re building a business, you’re going to be pitching. And if you’re pitching today, during COVID, you are going to be pitching virtually. This is classic good news, bad news situation.

The good news: VCs and angel investors are already familiar with and using video chat services like Zoom or Google Hangouts to keep pitches moving. Just make sure you are too.

The bad news: Pitching virtually makes it harder to command the attention of others. But there are some tips that can make your virtual pitch more effective.

Control the “virtual” room.

You want to have complete control over the video chat system you use. If the investor has initiated the virtual call, then make sure to ask for “host” sharing privileges immediately.

Get right to the pitch.

Make introductions and limit small talk. In an in-person pitch, there is more room for chatter. But in the virtual pitch, this can get distracting and awkward quickly. So, make introductions and get to the pitch.

Stay on track.

In an in-person pitch, you can expect interruptions and questions. You can see people’s reactions more easily. You get feedback. But an interesting thing can happen in a virtual pitch that seldom happens with in-person pitches. People are quiet. There is less visual feedback. And investors may wait until after the presentation to provide comments. So in a virtual pitch keep things short and sweet. In our book “Get Funded!” we outline how to create a winning ten slide pitch deck. When you do it virtually, the trick will be to speed things up a little and keep the presentation portion of the pitch to five minutes — and get quickly to the demo by either sharing your screen or following the next tip.

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