Want to successfully pitch your tech startup to get that funding? Well, memorizing mission statements, highlighting groundbreaking features and displaying impressive 3D models won’t be enough. Instead, you need to work on your storytelling strategy to inspire those willing to participate. Use this as a guide to know how to be a good storyteller and shine during your pitch.
Since their purpose is to bring technology to people, tech startuppers often focus on the innovation factor and tech details. Though this is, of course, relevant for your product or service, information may get lost in a sea of numbers and specs. Your audience may not be so excited about getting a ton of data since it may feel cold and unappealing.
Tales Aren’t Just for Children
Don’t get me wrong, information is fine but there’s a craft for talking about it and making it interesting. It doesn’t have to be a straight-up fairytale, just have the structure of a story. Let me put it this way: we hear, read, and watch stories all the time on the internet, the news, with your neighbors, next to someone waiting for the bus, during lunch at work… but not all of them are interesting to you.
To get that funding after a pitch, learn to master the art of storytelling by making it emotionally appealing to a certain audience and, of course, without losing the focus of selling your idea, which is essentially the main goal.
There are plenty of marketing strategies for startups. Some are more aggressive than others, and not all of them are suitable for every kind of business. When it comes to inspiring potential partners or investors in the technology industry, storytelling marketing is a powerful, low-cost strategy that can work wonders for startup tech companies.
To Captivate, Write Your Story
Everyone has their own vision of things, be sure to ask your team for ideas and powerful insights. Write down interesting facts and details that you’ve found along the way, how you found the right people to develop your technology product or service, the struggles you’ve faced, the lessons you’ve had so far, and how your team operates now.
Pay special attention to funny, challenging, or even sad events that made your startup grow. These interesting anecdotes will be useful for writing your core story and boost the human factor of it. We’ve all made mistakes and faced adversities, and ultimately learned from them.
Regardless of the topic, follow these essential steps every good story should have. Try to keep things organized so you know where to finish and don’t spend too much time on other narrative lines. Stick to one narrative line, remember that pitches often last a few minutes.
Your story should be suitable for both experts and people who are not really familiar with your startup’s approach.
- Bring a character to life. It can be a person, a fantasy, or sci-fi character or even an object. Incorporate a few characters but keep it cool since too many may be confusing and distracting. Keep in mind that your ultimate goal is to talk about your startup.
- Create an incident. An interesting story is built by actions and key events, not so much on descriptions and dialogue, or irrelevant events that have no connection to the goal of the main characters. Make things happen in your story.
- Get to the point. Explain the problem you’re solving and what your startup is doing to solve it. Why is this important for people’s lives? Highlight the reason for this marketing opportunity and how your service or product is something that’s missing or not working.
Have a clear outcome and provide a message that doesn’t leave out key information. At the same time, keep your audience wanting to know more about your startup.
To Engage, Illustrate Your Story
Remember when you were a kid and you enjoyed going over and over the same illustrated books? Well, things haven’t changed that much in terms of visual attention. Work on visual storytelling to build the strongest message possible.
If you’re starting from scratch, sketch a storyboard. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a professional artist, you just need to translate your ideas onto paper so they’re clear for everyone participating. You can even use one of many storyboarding apps to help you out.
Besides illustrations and good pictures, make sure you include your graphic branding elements such as an appropriate color palette and logo. If you still don’t have one, use a logo maker, which can save you a lot of time when creating a logo design.
To Influence, Practice Your Story
Mirror mirror on the wall… Is my startup pitch ready? Before meeting the investors, practice along with your team, make changes, avoid overdoing it, but most of all… feel your story! A well-rehearsed pitch will feel more natural when you master every part of it and work on the tone variations as if you were telling any kind of story in front of an audience.
Remember those days when you used to hear storytellers and they kept the kids interested in the ups and downs of a tale? That’s how you want to resonate with your audience. Define the tone you want for it: dramatic, humorous, serious… or even scary, if you’re planning on giving it a twist!
Now You Wish upon a Startup
Once you’re ready to pitch, it’s time to release the real magic, get inspired, and enjoy the pitch! You got this far after hours of hard work and, if you’re confident about it, the outcome should be positive.
The story doesn’t have word-by-word identical to what you first wrote. You can take little breaks, improvise and make some side comments, just don’t waste too much time on them. Keep the basic structure in your mind –or on a small piece of paper– and everything will be fine.
In a room full of people, know that people want to be part of a story, and your future investors are no exception. Globally known successful startups have done this. Be confident about your story and you will live happily ever after… or at least get that funding for your startup!