Master the Technology for Your Pitch to Investors
Using technology during your pitch to investors is essential, but technology can be your best friend and your worst enemy. When your audiovisual system, slideshow presentation, and physical presentation work together seamlessly, you have the appearance of confidence and mastery. When you have a glitch, your presentation turns to an uncomfortable experience at best.
Investors have short attention spans. Any itty-bitty technical mishap that derails your pitch for even a few seconds can kill the connection between you and your listener.
Use remote control clickers to switch slides
You can purchase an inexpensive sensor to plug into your laptop that enables you to use a remote control clicker to switch slides while standing across the room from your computer. The little controller fits in your hand, often invisibly, and gives the appearance that the sides are switching by magic.
Using a remote control is better than calling “next slide” to an assistant. It’s also better than standing behind your computer the whole time or running back and forth between the computer and the center of the stage.
Buy your own remote control clicker and practice with it. Know how far you can walk from the computer. Understand all the buttons. Check the batteries. If the clicker fails to work properly, the effect can be worse than if you just switched slides manually.
Run live demos
Some presenters run live demos in the pitch. Demos are generally walkthroughs of software products or demonstrations of hardware products. It is strongly recommended that you not take this tack unless you have been specifically invited to give a demonstration and not a pitch.
A demonstration is different from a pitch. In the pitch, you need to connect with your audience the entire time, which is impossible when you’re controlling a working product. Whether you’re demonstrating software or a tangible product, you’re looking at and focusing on the demonstration, not the audience, and you can lose their interest very quickly.
If you feel that some sort of demonstration is important, consider showing a short series of screenshots from a video demonstration. Put them in your pitch deck and talk while you flip through them. This approach keeps the flow of your presentation and your contact with the audience consistent. If you think that a live demo is absolutely necessary, schedule one after the pitch for those who are interested.
Venture capitalists (VCs) might invite you to bring your product to their office so you can all play with it together. This is a great time to do a demonstration of the product. You can geek out about the technology and let the VCs touch or manipulate your product. Do not confuse a demonstration with a pitch.