My First Pitch

So I’m going into my first pitch tomorrow morning and I’ve got to say I’m fairly nervous about it. I haven’t sat down with any one expert in the field that says that there is one “right” way to do it. I’ve seen talks where the expert says that you should state all of the negatives about your product to take all of the wind out of the pessimist’s sail. I’ve also read that you should keep it short, stick to the facts, and present your business idea logically. Then I read that logic shouldn’t be included at all, that your pitch should literally put your heart and dreams out on the table and say why they should help you to achieve your dream.

So who the hell knows! I personally, going into this with zero experience, think that it doesn’t matter how you approach the meeting. I personally think it’s about you and how you interact with people. This means that you should know the people that you are pitching to and what kind of things they are looking for. You should also be willing to highlight who you are and what you represent. I think this is the most important thing. Allot of people try to hide who they are when presenting in professional situations. They try to act like experts in the field, full of confidence, and 100% sure of where they’ve been and where they are going.

I think that this false broadcasting of professionalism and certainty just presents to others a easily dismissed vail of confidence. Now if you really are just overly confident, then don’t change who you are. But for the majority of business owners that I’ve meet, I’ve got to say that uncertainty and confusion are a part of the process. Don’t hide that! Be yourself and be 100% honest. Drop a curse word, show that you care, show some passion for your project, and don’t act like you have all the answers. I think being honest and presenting yourself and your case as honestly and as passionately as you can is the only sure fire way of ensuring that you present your case the most effective way for any investor, partner, or crowd to make a well informed decision.

Now, what if you come in all suited up and present the best pitch of all time and say that everything is going perfectly smooth and you know all the answers? Well if you are a rich confident dude with all the answers and there really are no problems with your business then you’re golden. But let me just say something that may make you angry, there’s a 99.99% chance that that isn’t you. So what’s going to happen? Your potential partners will do their due diligence and they are going to be more than upset to find out what is really going on. Or you may have been overly convincing and got a new partner out of lying at your pitch. This will bring in the partner and they will all of the sudden have a financial interest in your lie, which will only destroy their faith in you and more than likely run you into the ground and label you in the entire startup world as a verified charlatan. This is the worst possible outcome you could achieve.

But allot of professionals don’t want to deal with people that don’t know what they are doing that also act as unprofessional as to drop a curse word in the middle of a meeting. This is the most prevalent pre-conceived notion. These pre-conceived notions are sometimes true but for the most part in the startup world, talent and vision go well beyond any outdated and antiquated system of formalities of past corporate board rooms. True startups thrive off of creativity and huge ambitions, not by subscribing to antiquated business formalities. Also, not knowing everything is a very important thing to admit, especially at the beginning stages of a business. You may have a good grasp of the technological aspects of your business but there isn’t any possible way to know everything. I don’t care if you’ve been working on this thing for the past 5 years, there will be things that you don’t know the answer because it’s impossible to know absolutely everything related to your business. True professionals know this and they will test your honesty and depth of knowledge by addressing this specific issue. They will probe to see how far your knowledge goes and to see what happens when you reach that limit. When you hit that limit do you express that you’ve looked into it, you’ve studied it, but at the end of the day you don’t know all the variables or exactly how you’re going to attack it? Or did you lie and make something up, that to an expert could be torn apart with a little logical debate, and destroy all of your credibility?

So my naive approach to go into this meeting tomorrow is to be as honest and forthright as possible. I’m testing the hypothesis that being myself, with all of my flaws, will prove to be the best way to build a productive partnership. If they don’t like it then I will address my assumptions. Did they say yes, or no, because of my presentation or because of the underlying business proposition? I feel like I’ll learn allot tomorrow and I’ll update this as soon as it’s over to see if my assumptions come true or if I need to readjust.

Originally published at ScottKalwei.

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Just trying to learn crypto…

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Scott Kalwei

Scott Kalwei

Just trying to learn crypto…

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