Jug to convince, Personal efficiency

At various times in your life as an entrepreneur, you will have to present your project. Whether for your partners, associates, employees or potential investors who would like to help and support you.

Presenting your project is launching. If people don’t understand what you want to offer, you risk losing their support.

Having followed and helped several start-ups present their project and having listened to several hundred start-up pitchers, here is the structure that works best.

Show your customers problems

Highlight your customers’ problems. Show that these problems are painful and that your customers are suffering. Show how much time, money and energy your customers are spending solving these problems. How painful it is for them. show how the solutions that they use today are not suitable.

Your public he must feel this frustration, this embarrassment that the client feels. Highlighting these issues is 50% of the job of a pitch. If these pains are well felt, your solution, your idea and your project will be eagerly awaited. And its usefulness will be obvious. To detail, explain these problems and show their importance, you can tell a story one of your customers, for example. When the problem is obvious and even overwhelming to your interlocutor, talk about your solution.

Show your solution

Better than an explanation, show how your solution makes it possible solve the problem client. Show concrete things, an image, a prototype, the product directly and provide a clear explanation. “If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a prototype is worth 1,000 meetings,” they say at Ideo, the company that created the design thinking method. If necessary, also talk about the technology and how your product works behind the scenes. If there is anything particularly remarkable to say on this subject, for example a unique technology, know-how, a network of partners or others.

show impact

Aside from the impressive effect your solution can have, what’s even more impressive is the impact it has on users and your customers. Show here how good your solution is useful and how widely it is adopted by its customers. show them concrete proofs that your customer loves your solution. Numbers like the number of clicks, the conversion rate, the number of sales or purchase promises and literally your first customers. At this stage, you will have already convinced and proven that your product is useful and used.

show feasibility

If you’re looking for investors, they’ll want to know how your business is doing. generate revenue. While the return on investment (ROI) of early-stage projects remains uncertain, investors try to estimate it based on the assumptions you make about revenues and costs.

Explain the sources of revenue, their costs and their potential margin. Differentiate between what’s real, what you’ve accomplished so far, and your assumptions about what you think might happen.

Introduce the go-to-market strategy

Explain how you will continue to grow up income from your business. What is your business development strategy? How will you reach more customers? How are you going to keep selling? How will you make yourself known? Through which channels? Who are your distribution partners?

The team

introduce them team members. Attention, it’s not about showing your CV, but about telling the story of the beginning of the idea, your motivations, what drives you to do this project together. It should be obvious that you are in the best position to develop this idea. Now is the time to prove it.

the next steps

What are the next actions you want to take to take your business to the next level? What are you planning to do? How will you develop sales? Are you increasing your production capacity in the coming months? What are your goals ?

Examples of pitch presentation

To illustrate this, I advise you to look directly on the Internet, there are now several lists of “pitch decks” which are the exact presentations that certain companies have used to convince investors. You can easily find those from Uber, Airbnb, Front App, Buffer and many others. The structure of these presentations varies, but we found the elements I mentioned earlier.

improve in tone

Now that you have a basic structure for your pitch, the key to making a great pitch is practice. [et d’]get feedback. To build your offer, you tried to understand what customers value and tested an offer with them; you can do the same with your pitch. Eventually you are trying show value your business can bring to investors. The process is not that different.

Understand the goals of the people who will hear you pitch. Try to put yourself in that audience’s shoes according to your context and theirs.

train yourself ! Proactively solicit feedback from your audience. How could you improve your presentation? In both content and form, ask for those you train with. Multiply opportunities to present your project, search for pitch contests, observe and solicit reactions.

So, ready to take the stage? No ? It’s normal, even the older ones still have the flyer before the show… You still have to go!

Franck Debane is the author of the book “Pass en mode startup. 6 Steps to Starting Your Business”, published by Editions Eyrolles in December 2021.


Engineer and entrepreneur, Franck Debane, helps companies start new businesses and launch new offerings using startup methods. Both mentor and investor in start-ups, he has helped more than 1,000 entrepreneurs launch, structure and develop their businesses. He is also a co-founder in France of the Lean Startup Experience group. This text is taken from his book “Pass en mode startup. 6 steps to start your business”, published by Edições Eyrolles in December 2021, 160 pages, 27 euros.

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