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There are many blog posts out there about what to talk about in your pitch, what not to talk about, what to include in your slide deck, and so on. This post won’t cover content at all. Instead, I’m going to talk about the logistics of pitching – the basic stuff that is often forgotten.
Dress nice, but not too formal. Shorts, short dresses, and flip-flops make it seems like you don’t care; suits, ties, and evening gowns make you seem like an amateur who hasn’t pitched before and thinks there’s a formal dress code.
Bring your laptop in case the investor wants to see a demo or go through your pitch deck.
If you have a demo, make sure it works without the internet (or bring a phone that supports tethering).
Teleconferencing: use UberConference.
Videoconferencing: use Google Hangouts.
Screensharing: use join.me.
Don’t use WebEx, Skype, GoToMeeting, or anything else that requires a special app. A meeting typically lasts 30-60 minutes, and almost every time that someone uses WebEx et al., the first ten minutes is spent waiting for people to download apps, enter PINs, and so on. If you have 30 minutes to pitch your company, don’t waste 10 of them on tech set-up.
Format: PDFs are ideal because they look the same on every computer. Powerpoint files are okay, but not great, because they’ll look different on Windows/Mac/Linux.
Delivery method: attachments or links to Dropbox links are ideal. Anything that requires a name/password/PIN is annoying because no one likes to feel monitored.
If an investor asks for a deck before the meeting, you should send it to them. If your deck doesn’t work without you walking someone through it, you should either revise your deck or create a one-pager that you can send out. It’s very hard to prepare a meeting without knowing anything about your business, and forcing a meeting without sharing anything about your company drastically reduces the value of that meeting.
If you prefer other software solutions for teleconferencing and the like, please let me know on Twitter!