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Preparing for Your Startup Pitch - Rehearsal, Confidence, and the Deadly Q&A

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Preparation, Confidence, and Dealing with Tough Questions Pitching Perfectly Session 3 Darren Menabney @ Samurai Startup Island Tokyo 1 10.29.2015


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“The first draft of anything is shit.” - Ernest Hemingway 2


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NOTE this presentation is not a first draft! 3


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DARREN MENABNEY -2011, Toronto 2011+, Tokyo BSc Astrophysics, U of T Government of Canada Revenue, Industry, Foreign Affairs, Defence 4 MBA, GLOBIS University Global HR, Ricoh Co. Ltd. Part-time Faculty, GLOBIS University


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Writing & delivering pitches Judging pitches Attending a LOT of pitch contests Coaching startups Teaching entrepreneurs at MBA program Public speaking 5 © Javier Montano / TEDxKyotoUniversity


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1. Preparation & Rehearsal 6


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“In all things the way you practice defines the way you perform. It’s selfish to make an audience endure your first or even third try. Why be selfish? If you’re generous to your audience they’ll love you.” – Scott Berkun Author, Confessions of a Public Speaker 7


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Make any mistakes BEFORE you pitch 8


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Uncertainty and Surprises Confidence and Success Preparation and rehearsal WILL determine your success 9


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HOW to prepare? 1. Refining the Pitch Deck 2. Improving your delivery 3. Managing time 4. Simulating Q&A 10


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HOW to prepare? 1. Refining the Pitch Deck 11


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“In writing, you must kill all your darlings.” - William Faulkner 12


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Attack your own slides Question your assumptions Ask “So what?” to each slide and each element of each slide …and repeat! 13


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If it adds no value, remove it If it looks weak, strengthen it If even you don’t understand it, fix it! 14


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This is a Team activity 15


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HOW to prepare? 2. Improving your delivery 16


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HOW to prepare? Record and watch a video of you making the pitch 17


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HOW to prepare? Rehearse in front of • team • mentors • pitch coach 18


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HOW to prepare? Get a lot of early feedback from your team 19


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HOW to prepare? Learn from your mistakes Build on your strengths 20


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HOW to prepare? …then rehearse your pitch again …and again …and again! 21


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HOW to prepare? 3. Managing time 22


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HOW to prepare? After you can deliver content smoothly, work on time management


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HOW to prepare? Use slide auto-advance 20-30 seconds per slide Milestone slides 24


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The Five Minute Pitch Deck Title Page with Company’s Purpose (0:15) Elevator Pitch (0:15) The Problem (0:30) Market Sizes (0:20) Your Value Proposition (0:30) Why Now? (0:20) Go To Market Plan (0:30) Competitive Landscape (0:20) Business Model (0:30) Your Team (0:20) Financials analysis & projections (0:30) What You Have, What you need (0:30) Summary (0:10)


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HOW to prepare? If your pitch needs to be done in 10 minutes, rehearse for 8 26


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HOW to prepare? 4. Simulating Q&A 27


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What can you do to prepare for audience questions? 28


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Rehearse & Know your Audience 29


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Rehearsal helps you… Identify weaknesses in pitch Anticipate questions Prepare answers Practice giving those answers 30


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Know Your Audience… Past pitch events they judged? Questions they asked Their style Read judges’ blogs & watch any videos of them Demographics of audience? Industry crowd vs general audience Other startups 31


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Specialist Audience VC Talent Angel Skills Money Mixed Bank FFF General Audience 32


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2. Boosting Confidence 33


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Your confidence... Audience’s confidence in you 34


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How to give your confidence a 20%+ boost in just two minutes 35


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36 Copyright © Amy Cuddy, TED


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37 Copyright © Amy Cuddy, TED


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Two minutes of this Stress level DOWN 25% Confidence level UP 20% 38 http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are?language=en


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Drink some water BEFORE you start 39


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Feel


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Check out the room before the pitch event 41


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Windows? Heating? Lighting? Projector? Seating? Acoustics? 42


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Bring backups of your backups 43


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How to recover from a mistake? 44


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45


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3. Q&A Time 46


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47


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Questions indicate interest 48


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"Thanks for that question." "Great question!" "That's a really good question." "I was hoping someone would ask me that." 49


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13 Points You Should Have Covered in Your Pitch Deck Title Page Go To Market Plan Elevator Pitch Competitive Landscape The Problem (Opportunity) Business Model Market Sizes Your Team Your Value Proposition Financial Analysis & Projections Why Now? What You Have, What You Need Summary 50


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So what else can you be questioned on? 51


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Two Basic Question Types 1. Clarifying 2. Expanding 52


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Clarifying Questions “Why did/didn’t you…?” “Tell me more about…” “I don’t understand…” “How did you calculate X…” 53


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Expanding Questions “What if…?” “Have you thought about…” “Where will you be in # years?” 54


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Some Actual Killer Questions I’ve Heard “Who are your competitors and how are you beating them?” “Is your customer base growing? What is your retention like?” “Are you a platform, or are you offering a service?”


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Some Actual Killer Questions I’ve Heard “So when would I get my 100X back? “Show me how you can scale.” “Why did you start this company?” “I just have one question. What the f**k do you do?”


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DIFFICULT QUESTIONS? 57


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Three Approaches To Difficult Questions… 1) Delay 2) Defer 3) Don’t know, but… 58


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1) Delay • • • 59 Paraphrase Repeat the question Buy thinking time!


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2) Defer …to your teammates …to your tech experts 60


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“Tricky question, maybe my CFO Bob can answer that. Bob, can you help?” 61


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3) Don’t know, but… 62


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“Sorry I can’t give you an answer right now. I’ll look into it when I’m back at the office and get you an answer.” 63


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TRY to answer a question (say something) 64


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Questions turn your pitch into a conversation 65


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Continue practicing! Continue growing! Pitch like a pro!


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APPENDIX 67


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Questions You May Get The following slides show examples of some common questions you must be prepared to answer Questions have been summarised according to the relevant slides you must include in your pitch deck Green questions indicate killer questions, good luck! 68


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Questions - The Problem “How have people been dealing with this problem before you came along?” “Why is this a problem?” “Why is this a BIG problem?” 69


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Questions - Market Sizes “How much does that problem cost?” “How much will customers pay to fix that pain?” “How did you calculate the Total Addressable Market?” “What original market research have you done?” 70


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Questions - Your Value Proposition “Take me on a typical customer’s journey.” “Why should I care?” “I still don’t get it. What do you do?” “I just have one question. What the f**k do you do?” “What’s your proprietary IP?” “How will you deal with government regulations (e.g. FDA)?” 71


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Questions - Why Now? “Why has no one been able to do this before?” “What changed to make now the right time for your solution?” 72


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Questions - Go To Market Plan “How will you enter the market?” “How will you grow in the market?” “How much do you need to expand?” “Who are your existing customers?” “How do customers find you?” “What kind of traction have you got so far?” 73


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Questions - Competitive Landscape “Who are your biggest competitors?” “How can you beat them?” “Why are you better?” “Competitor X is a huge, established player in this market. How can you beat them?” “How did you research the competitive landscape?” 74


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Questions - Business Model “How do customers pay you?” “How did you calculate your unit cost?” “How will you distribute your product?” “Who are your suppliers?” “Are you a platform, or are you offering a service?” “What are your bottlenecks and how do you manage them?” 75


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Questions - Your Team “Why did you start this company?” “How much have you personally invested in this venture?” “Tell me more about your past successes.” “Tell me about your past failures. What did you learn?” “Your team is spread over the world, how to you make decisions and communicate?” “Why is this team capable of executing your growth plan?” 76


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Questions - Financials “When will I get my money back? When will I get my 10X or 100X back?” “When will you be cashflow-positive?” “Explain how you’ll get from point B to point C on your financial projections?” “Why aren’t you bootstrapping?” 77


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Questions - What You Have/Need “How much have you already received?” “Who has funded you so far?” “I still don’t get it. How have you survived so far?” “Tell me why you need to spend $100,000 on marketing.” 78


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