Don’t pitch your start up – tell a story like Jim Henson
We all get told to practice our elevator pitch and many of us have spent hours on our detailed, yet high-level, 10-slide investor pitch decks (a painful process I know!). After all that you’re armed with those short sentences and a pdf deck, so you can wow Kevin Rose when you accidentally, on-purpose trip over his foot at a conference.
While I agree it’s important to clearly articulate what your business does, I’ve always felt that putting yourself in the “pitcher” mindset is the wrong analogy. When you pitch you’re:
- on the mound by yourself
- facing an opposing team
- repeating the same arm movements over and over.
The “pitch” wants you to focus on telling your rote answer to an opposing team.
But investors aren’t your enemy and you’re certainly not doing this alone. In fact any investor you talk to could be a future mentor, connector or business partner. So stop thinking about “pitching” and instead tell a story.
Jim Henson nails this concept in the video below. He could’ve talked about making puppets, shown draft story-lines & finished off with a competitor analysis. Instead he shares his vision and what it means for his potential investors. I think it’s truly inspiring.
So call it a pitch, like Jim does, but instead tell a story.