How to crush it with your pitch deck on demo day? Here’s how to nail it and get your startup funded…
Demo day is a big deal for startup founders. It can feel like the make or break moment of your life. Certainly validation of whether all the sweat, blood, tears, and sleepless nights you’ve spent working on your idea for the last few months have been worth it or not.
This one pitching event can make you and change everything. Check out the following tips for how to debug it, boost your confidence, and deliver a winning pitch that will get you funded.
What Is Demo Day
Demo Day is the final graduating day for startups that have enrolled in startup accelerator programs. This is when your cohort of founders take to the stage to each deliver their pitches to a room full of qualified investors who are looking for early-stage startups to fund.
So, how do you ace this pivotal moment?
Know Your Investors
Get an idea of who will be in the room on the day. If you are able to interact with any of them in advance through the accelerator, pick their brains on what makes a great demo day presentation. Who have they funded on demo day before and why? Why do they pass on most pitches? What are they or their fund most looking for in a venture to back right now? What criteria is on their list to check off?
To ensure that you’re successful with your demo, make sure to follow the important steps to pitch an idea to investors. Take a look at this video where I explain in detail how to get that done.
Know Your Competition
You could be pitching in a line of a handful or dozens of other startups and founding teams. Who are they? What are they working on? What are their big claims, USPs, and hooks?
You don’t want to be scooped by another competing startup who presents right before or after you and beats you out on what you think your biggest selling point is. Consider how you can outdo them in front of investors. Understand carefully how to crush it with your pitch deck on demo day.
Tweak & Customize Your Pitch Deck
Equipped with all of the above information, tweak and tailor your pitch deck and verbal presentation specifically for this group of investors, and in his setting, alongside this group of competing startups who are vying for the same money and capital partners.
You may not even want to appeal to all of the investors in the room, just those who are the best fit for your specific startup. Tweak it for them.
Use A Short Pitch Deck
You probably won’t be allotted a lot of time to pitch in this scenario. Instead of rushing and failing to deliver any clear points to prospective investors, condense it down as much as possible. Think 10 slides or less.
Keep Your Deck Clean & Clear
Don’t cram in more information just because you are using fewer slides. Use BIG fonts, have them designed well. And, use big data points.
Use A Proven Pitch Deck Template
You don’t have time to reinvent the wheel here. Use an existing and proven pitch deck template and just fill in the blanks and customize it.
Get Comfortable With Your Pitching Setting
It is vital to get comfortable with the setting you’ll be pitching in. This is even truer if you or any of your co-founders aren’t really confident in presenting in front of a crowd, either on camera or live on stage.
Practice on the stage or video meeting tool that will be used on Demo Day. Test out any technology that will be involved in your pitch. Including mics and getting your deck on screen. Test the volume of your verbal pitch. Get the essential elements in place when learning how to crush it with your pitch deck on demo day. It could be a critical lesson on how to start a business.
Repeatedly practice your live pitch until you know it by heart and it just sounds natural. Ideally, you’ll practice in front of others too.
Keep in mind that in fundraising storytelling is everything. In this regard for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
Show Your Traction
Demo day is the culmination of weeks of months of intense focus. It is all about progress and traction. Show what you have accomplished with that time and that you can really execute and make things happen. What milestones or rate of growth have you achieved during this sprint?
Make Sure You Stand Out & Are Memorable
Not only are you just one in a sea full of pitches these investors may see on this one day but maybe just one of the hundreds of pitches they’ll be sent and see this week. You have to stand out and be memorable. Everything from what you wear to how you speak and your logo can play into this.
With limited time and so much competing noise, you can only expect your audience to remember 1-3 things about you. Decide what those 1-3 big points will be and own them.
Lead in with a big claim and close with a big one too. It’s one of the basics of how to crush it with your pitch deck on demo day.
Don’t Be Discouraged If Investors Aren’t Throwing Money At You
Don’t be discouraged if your targets aren’t throwing money at you on stage. It is often the least expected person in the room or meetings after this room or later on that lead to the money. Give it your all, but be patient. Just do your best and have real conviction about your mission.
Even with the best pitch deck and presentation closing these investors and getting funded may all rely on your follow up. Get their contact information. Set follow up appointments if you can. Keep hitting them with your investor updates, show them the progress you are making and how they are missing out. Ask for referrals and introductions to other investors for who your venture may be a better fit.
You may find interesting as well our free library of business templates. There you will find every single template you will need when building and scaling your business completely for free. See it here.