Stay focused on the most important parts. Get to the point quickly.
Try using a pitch deck, which is like an outline. It will help you understand what to include. You can find templates online and some are free. (See resources.)
Use a story arc, with a beginning, a middle, and an end, in order to engage your audience. A simple bulleted list gets boring and may not hold their attention.
- For example, start with the problem or need for your product, then say how you discovered your idea to solve it, talk about some of the challenges and how you dealt with them.
- For example, tell a story of potential impact: Describe an individual with a personal need for your product and how your solution would impact their life.
Try to tell a story so good that people stop looking at their phones.
Be prepared to back up any claim you make during your pitch. Have the data, numbers, or the creditable research citation ready to support what you say.
- For example, present summaries of reproducible data on your product’s technology and offer to share details with those interested.
- For example, if your product will be used in a medical treatment, show the plan for having insurance reimbursement, including where there is already a billing code that covers it.
- If you have evidence that a large percentage of the target market is interested in your solution, show a summary of that data.
Practice, practice, practice. Don’t just practice your pitch by yourself or in front of loved ones. Practice in front of your advisor, peers, and people you don’t know well and ask for feedback. Practice using enthusiasm.
Develop different versions of your product description pitch for different purposes:
- Elevator pitch: You will need a very brief, 20 to 30 second “elevator speech” description of your idea to use when networking. Include the most important and interesting information. Keep it easy to understand and memorable. Have one prepared early on, because you never know when you might meet someone who might become an important connection later.
- For a formal introductory presentation, you may want a 5 minute pitch illustrated with slides that concisely includes the most important information.
- For a presentation to potential investors who have shown some interest, a more detailed and longer pitch explaining how to access relevant details may be needed.
Sources: Consolidated from multiple web pitch resources with a focus on those most relevant for forming biotech start-ups.