As the weather gets darker and colder, it can only mean one thing – SLUSH is around the corner, finally! It’s the darkest yet most interesting time of the year when Helsinki gathers over thousands of startups and investors from all around the world. SLUSH is an outstanding event for startups who want to boost their visibility and seize their opportunities – which is exactly what we did. Last year we indeed seized our opportunity by participating in SLUSH100 pitching competition, and as you already know, the rest is history. 🏆
Presenting a business idea in front of thousands requires certain skills. But what are the exact factors behind a successful pitching speech? To find that out, we interviewed Bo Malmberg, the pitch presenter himself and COO of Altum Technologies. Bo has listed his personal five tips to giving a successful pitch that hopefully will help your startup to stand out from the crowd as well.
⬇ Scroll down to watch Bo Malmberg’s SLUSH100 at SLUSH Helsinki 2017. ⬇
1. Find a Problem and Present Your Solution
Start with a problem, simply because there is a solution to everything. Think about the issues the world is currently struggling with.
➡Can your product solve those issues and if so, how?
➡How does that differ from already existed solutions?
By answering these questions, you will be able to find your unique selling point as well as learn how to present your solutions correctly. This also will help you to stand out from your competitors and convince the audience.
Now remember, brevity will carry you far. Instead of complementing your product and its uniqueness for few minutes, you should provide the audience with explicit facts of your product is used to solve the problem. This can be numerical factors demonstrating a remarkable improvement over a certain period of time or a short video clip showing how your solutions actually works in practice. Sharing visual examples is a much better approach than long talks and self-praise that people won’t certainly remember. Be bold and creative, fight the problem!
2. Know Your Product and Your Ultimate Goal
Self-representation is important, always. No matter how many years of industry experience you may have, the way you present yourself, your company and your products – all of them, have a strong impact on the audience. It determines how people (in this case, potential customers, partners and investors) will remember the brand you represent.
In order to leave a good impression of yourself, you should be able to briefly explain why the company exists and what is the ultimate target you want to achieve. By this far, you should already know everything about your product and target market. You should acknowledge the benefits of your product and have a comprehensive understanding of how your solution works in practice, while also considering its weakness and potential challenges it could face in the future.
Bo Malmberg advises: “Show what you have accomplished so far, where you want to go now, present a strong vision of how to get there and prove that you have the right team to do it!”
3. Practice Your Timing
The main purpose of a sales pitch is to present your business idea in a short time. The time limitation can vary from one to even five minutes, depending on the rules of a competition organizer. This is perhaps the most challenging part as you have to summarize everything you want to say and highlight your unique selling proposition in a limited time without rushing your speech. If you want to reassure that everything goes smoothly, you need to combine crucial factors – practice and timing.
“Practice what you should be saying and make sure that your presentation is going to be within the time limit. If you go over the time, it can easily look that you have not prepared well”, says Bo Malmberg.
When practicing your sales pitch, ask your team mates first to take time of your presentation and then give you a constructive feedback on your speech and body language. That way you will learn what exactly should be improved and know better your timing. Also, it will help you to stay focused on the relevant points that should be mentioned in your sales pitch. With a sufficient practicing, you sure will gain the needed confidence to present your idea in front of thousands.
4. Keep It Simple
Simplicity is the key. As mentioned previously, using utterly intelligent jargon won’t help you to stand out from your competitors. Simplify your story as much as possible and make a good logical flow for the presentation, so that it is easy for others to understand your point. Here is how Bo Malmberg approached this task:
“We tried to think about our pitch content from the perspective of a person who has never heard anything about Altum Technologies or ultrasonic cleaning. No matter how known your technology is elsewhere, the majority of audience has no clue about your product. It is therefore vital to relate what you are doing to things that are easy to grasp for people with no previous knowledge about your business.”
5. Trust Your Gut
And last but not least – have a confidence in yourself, your product and team supporting you. Before presenting his SLUSH100 pitch, Bo Malmberg did not feel nervous at all. There was a great atmosphere in the event filled with innovative people who shared good energy that gave more reasons to feel excited and determined than anxious.
“Try to relax. You know what you are talking about and the others are also just people like you. You know what you are doing, otherwise you would not be there where you are, so show your full potential!”, recommends Bo Malmberg.
Taking part in SLUSH100 was a truly unique experience. In addition to helping us to verify the validity of our business, attending the event and winning the competition also brought Altum Technologies a lot of visibility in media and towards customers as well as investors and potential partners. Taking the prize home gave our startup a prominent position which allowed us to receive customer enquiries, instead of prospecting and making cold calling to new customers.
All in all, we wish all startups attending this year’s SLUSH100 pitching competition a lot of luck, courage and patience. Trust us, we have been there and if we did it – you can do it too! 😉We hope that these tips will help you to boost your business idea and become the next best thing!
⬇ P.S. Follow Altum Technologies on social media to get the latest updates of power ultrasound solutions! ⬇