Do It In Real Time: Practicing Your Startup Pitch

“And this slide is where I’ll talk about Go To Market, and….” “STOP” I say. “We’re going to do this in real time.”

When pitch practicing there’s value in taking it s..l..o..w.. and going through it all in the same style you’re going to use when talking with new investors. Yeah the casual flip through the slides feels like an efficient use of time — and should be used as a way to test overall flow — but founders shouldn’t be shy about asking their investors, advisors, friends for the time to do a full practice pitch.

Somewhere around the fifth rehearsal you’ll start to find your stride. Have your test audience vary their interaction: hold questions for the end; interrupt mid-slide; expert pushing on assumptions; less informed observer who needs background on the industry. Goal is to get to the point where you’re consistently able to deliver the important key messages, while reading the room and creating + using the organic energy. Don’t try to be someone else, just the most awesome version of yourself. But if the first time you’re doing a realtime runthrough of your deck is in a live pitch, it’s unlikely to be your best.

Originally published at on July 26, 2019.

You’ll find me @homebrew , Seed Stage Venture Fund w @satyap . Previously made products at YouTube, Google & SecondLife. Married to @cbarlerin .

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