Mentors have told us that in the US (particularly Silicon Valley), it is very ‘normal’ to see startups in elevators, coffee shops, parking lots (a scene in the series Silicon Valley comes to mind) pitching their ideas to angel investors. Creating a pitch deck is a normal “thing” that they do (as how taking pictures before we eat is normal for us). Practically, everyone has a startup idea. That kind of culture is not yet evident here in the Philippines, therefore, not a lot of us are skilled enough to deliver great pitches. Even those with corporate backgrounds, like us, realize that pitches for businesses are very different from the lengthy corporate presentations that we have. Now that I have seen quite a number of pitches already, I even think that corporate presentations should be more like pitches when delivered.
I remember once, in my corporate life (seems like ages ago), I was avidly following Ted Talks speeches. I admired how skilled the speakers were at delivering talks. These speakers (well, most of them) just told a story, as if they were really talking to us. They didn’t seem practiced nor rehearsed. Out of the blue, I wanted to deliver my corporate presentation in a Ted Talks-way and it worked out quite well.
My point being is that we, in this country, need to be more vocal about sharing new thoughts and ideas with each other, because that’s a way we can validate these ideas. Creating a pitch deck and presenting it is a great way to validate your business idea. It’s a way to adjust and rethink strategies when we receive feedback. The problem with most of us is we that we take not-so-good feedback personally. Nope, feedback is not an attack against YOU but it’s actually something that you should hear early on so that one, you can come up with a clear answer/solution for that particular concern or two, you can readjust certain things about your business idea or three, drop the business idea altogether. Bottomline is that these feedback make you dig deeper and analyze situations better.
Also, I think that most of us fear being copied, but I think that most of the people that we meet and pitch to are mature enough to respect your idea. We just don’t give the people around us enough credit. Also, it really is just an idea. The meat is in the execution. Who executes better and faster is the name of the game. Oh, let me drop the faster part, because I am all for who executes it the best!
The Pitch and Creating a Pitch Deck
When you want to create pitch deck (presentation), there are a lot of resources that you will find online. When I first created a pitch deck, I just Googled “creating a pitch deck”. Here are some of the resources that I used:
2) This one page guide on slide 8:
3) Super cool decks of successful startups: http://bestpitchdecks.com/
and a whole lot more! I think read and listened to tons of material on creating a pitch deck.
What I have seen and observed is that you can initially copy the standard template, then practice your pitch. If you feel like there are certain points that you want to highlight and if you feel you need to drop some aspects, then do so. Pitches should be short. How long, you might ask? Let’s just say that we have a 1 minute pitch, 2 minute pitch, a 3 minute deck and a 5 minute deck to explain our business (haha! we just want to be THAT ready).
Another lesson that I have learned is to customize your deck and think of your audience. I have seen and experienced that every pitch is different.
So that being said, we will be having one of the most important pitches for our business this afternoon. Please pray for us! (#ideaspace2016)
Hope this helps!
PS. Thanks to all those who have helped us improve our deck (mostly from Ideaspace!) Ms. Diane Eustaquio, Manny Martinez, Gabe Mercado, Prim Paypon, Jojy Azurin and the rest of the Ideaspace team. Thank you, too, to our advisors Jojo Flores, Jay Fajardo and Anderson Tan 🙂