Demo day is now JUST AROUND THE CORNER!! And pitching to a room full of investors at Google Campus in 2 days time is enough to give anyone a cold sweat and, make you behave a little strangely, (you might be wondering what’s going on in this pic, so were we; James, sprawled across the desk looking longingly into Piotr’s eyes, Piotr looking uncomfortable. Apparently James was just after a bit of love and affection from his team) but aside from the increasingly odder office antics, the teams have been pushing full steam ahead, all hands to the deck, to be pitch, product and (business)plan perfect for Demo Day.
On Monday James Tabor of Oxygen’s 2011 graduates Bertie and Bean came to see the teams and impart some of his knowledge and experience. Since graduating, James has pitched over a hundred times to audiences of all sizes so we can safely say he knows his stuff! As well as giving some valuable one on one feedback on each teams pitch performance James gave some great tips to use when creating and delivering a pitch heres five;
Can you explain what your business does in 30 seconds? Distilling what’s appealing and interesting about your business and putting it into one line makes it simple for your audience to get it, quick.
2. Tell a Story
Think of your audience as a bunch of 6 year olds. You need to keep them engaged, be simple and clear, be honest and be prepared for lots of questions.
3. Start with Why
Start with Why, then How and What, not What How Why. Why? To create a stronger bond. James recommended this TEDtalk to explain.
Don’t swear, Don’t lie, Don’t apologise and Don’t overload the audience. We can’t multitask so better not to distract the audience from the opportunity you’re giving them with a, “did he really just say that?!”
5. Have Fun!
If you’re not having fun up there the audience will see it. So as unnatural as it feels, try to enjoy yourself.
And of course thats wasn’t all that went on during the first week back, Oxygen somehow managed to crowbar; one to ones with Emma Ray from Cobbets covering legals, pitches to Midven and Finance Birmingham, business plan feedback from Gurinder of Mazars and big surprise, more pitches! But these guys are professionals now, and its all just part of their life. Late nights and heavy work loads have become a standard during Oxygen, as well as thick skins and quick responses. You can throw anything at these guys, they’ve got their eyes on the prize and amazingly its already paying off with 5 teams going into Demo Day having already raised investment, theres no stopping them!