In the world of fintech, where visionary founders are often operating on lean resources, crushing a pitch is crucial. Yet with the Covid-19 pandemic, even the most experienced pitchers were suddenly forced back to the drawing board to think of how to best present a winning pitch over a video call.
Here Ian Wilding, Managing Partner at Hangar 75, a venture capital asset factory with locations in California and London, shares his top tips on how to nail your Zoom pitch.
Unfortunately, venture capital funding in 2020 nosedived. With the coronavirus outbreak, fintech VC funding dropped to $6.1billion in Q1 of 2020. This made adapting the pitching process to convince investors more essential than ever. Eventually, as confidence grew and pitchers sharpened up their acts, VC funding came back strong in the second half of 2020.
Luckily fintech executives realized that getting a Zoom pitch right starts a long time before getting on camera in front of investors. First pitchers need to think about their kit. What equipment are they using, and how can investing in high-quality products help level up their pitch? Then comes the pitch itself. The visual display and dynamics of the pitch require meticulous attention. Persuading investors won’t be achieved by force of personality alone, so directing a pitch effectively over Zoom is crucial. Below we go over the vital points to consider to help get those investment deals in the bag by executing a perfect Zoom pitch.
The difference between having high-quality equipment for Zoom calls and using outdated or slow tech could be exactly proportional to the value that investors are willing to part with. Since there is less room in the remote environment for pre-pitch pleasantries like small talk or offering food and coffee, making your opening experience as aesthetically pleasing as possible should be a no-brainer. That’s why your at-home technology needs to be on point.
First thing’s first: Using the right camera. The easy fix is to use a phone or tablet camera rather than a laptop camera, as many phone cameras often have 3x better resolution. However, you need to ensure that the phone or tablet is backed by tremendous wifi as phone connections waver more consistently than laptops. But, ideally, you avoid this choice altogether. To do so, use the best solution, which is an SDL-mounted camera with a professional lens fixed above your laptop or desktop. For visual display, getting the lighting right can also transform the picture. Some bad lighting choices blast presenters with light and look unattractive. A soft light that matches the tones and the room is optimal As for sound, a professional standard microphone is a must. The monotones of a standard laptop microphone are not always going to be suitable.
Finally, the last point should be obvious, and we have already touched on it briefly. Your internet connection needs to be of the highest possible quality. Paying $10 more a month for increased upload and download speeds should be a worthy sacrifice when you are literally asking investors to put forward thousands, maybe millions of dollars.
Lights Camera Action
Once the right technologies are in place, presenters need to consider how best to deliver a pitch on Zoom. The opening minutes should be a face to face, like any normal Zoom call. Then the presentation has to become a multi-screen production. That way the pitch comes across as dynamic and keeps potential investors engaged. One way to achieve that dynamism is with multiple cameras, like a newsdesk. A surprising source of inspiration to present in this way came from seeing gaming videos on Youtube and Twitch. One camera focuses on the speaker, potentially another on their hands if they’re operating any kind of prototype, and another on a partner who offers their reactions.
Also, to keep everyone listening and engaged, some interactivity can go a long way. Using a polling button for viewers to gauge and test their opinions keeps them at the ready. Using Zoom’s “hands up” feature on video calls also gives viewers a chance to get involved with questions posed by the presenter. Those two features, polling, and hands up are currently live on Zoom, and a pretty sure-fire way to increase engagement.
It is also crucial to make the experience of a Zoom pitch as tactile as possible. So, for example, if the prototype being pitched is an app, send it out to potential investors who can get first-hand experience with the prototype from home before, during, and after your call.
Ten seconds may be all an investor gives before deciding whether to invest or whether to walk away. Those making pitches can’t shy away from reinventing the pitch for a Zoom camera. Securing the right kit is elementary; directing a winning pitch is decisive. With global unicorns now numbering well over 500, organisations that redesign their pitches for the remote environment can take themselves closer to that list.