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14th Jan 2015

6 presentation tips for your next start-up pitch

Note pads at the ready...


There’s one key rule for a successful start-up pitch that every budding entrepreneur should know…

John Brandon, contributing editor of, recently published this incredibly insightful article titled The Key Ingredient to Every Successful Startup Pitch.

In it he discusses his one ingredient for success when it comes to a start-up pitch.

While John’s tip (which we’ve outlined below) is sure to make your start-up stand out from the crowd, there are a few other top tips to take into account if you want your pitch to be successful.

So without further ado, here are JOE’s 6 presentation tips for your next start-up pitch…

  1. The light bulb moment

John Brandon’s golden rule on is as follows: “The key is to make sure, when you pitch an idea, that you create the light bulb moment for everyone in attendance.”

John goes on to say that the light bulb moment happens when your audience realises there’s a problem that you have the solution too and that it’s “essentially a personal conviction about an idea”.

Basically, you want your audience to sit up and say: “This guy is on to something…”


  1. Learn your presentation off by heart

If you don’t know your presentation off by heart then potential investors might think that you don’t know everything about your start-up.

However, you don’t want to come across like a robotic tape recorder, so make sure to inject a bit of life (and even humour) into your presentation.

Read your lines as if you were having a conversation with someone in the pub and not as if you’ve just been told to do so by a secondary school teacher.

  1. Create well designed slides

Your presentation is often the first time that potential investors (and even competitors) will hear about your start-up idea. So slides are important. They’re not there to simply summarise your idea, but instead their purpose is to better illustrate your presentation.

Another great tip is to never read off your slides as the audience has probably already scanned over it and they don’t want to hear something they’ve already read.

Also, don’t bore people with useless charts and stats unless they’re absolutely necessary. Find a more creative way to present the relevant information.


  1. Choose your strongest presenter, regardless of their position

Just because you’re the founder of a start-up doesn’t mean you have to give every single presentation. Entrust your idea with the strongest and most charismatic member of the team, even if they’re just the I.T. guy, because at the end of the day, you’re trying to sell the company as a whole.

It’s your job as founder to leave your ego at the door and to give the job to the right person.

  1. Use pictures in your presentation

Spend some time (and even money) taking some high quality pictures that help to tell your story. People usually only retain 10 per cent of the information that they’re told verbally, but add a few photographs and that number rises to 65 per cent.

  1. Short and sweet

Creating a 50-slide presentation is a sure fire way to make investors slip into a daydream about what they’ll be having for lunch and by the time you’re finished your presentation they’ll have forgotten what it is that you’re pitching.

You should aim to make your presentation as short as possible by condensing the most important information into no more than 10-15 slides. Otherwise you might find a few audience members looking like this…