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Perfecting your pitch for Web Summit Qatar

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Marie Boran
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Five smiling people stand in a row with their arms around each other. One of the people (the second from the left) is sticking their tongue out. They are all clenching their fists in apparent celebration. The person in the centre of the row is holding a trophy in their left hand. The trophy is a trapezoidal block with the word PITCH carved across it. This is the startup that won PITCH 2023 at Web Summit in Lisbon.

Whether you’re entering PITCH, powered by Jusour, or are looking to polish your pitch to impress potential partners and investors, these tips should help you excel.

Ahead of Web Summit Qatar, brush up on your startup pitch and get ready to network. You never know who you might meet.

Communication is key

Keep it simple.

“Make sure you communicate clearly,” says Diogo Ramalho, senior coordinator on Web Summit’s startup success team.

“Pitching is all about communicating the essence of your startup to an audience, so make sure you’re delivering a clear message that can reach everyone watching you, regardless of their background.”

Don’t promise what you can’t deliver

Promising world-changing impact without evidence to back it up is an all-too-common mistake some eager founders can make – but investors see right through the grandiose rhetoric.

Indico Capital Partners managing partner Cristina Fonseca has said “the worst speech I can get is people telling me, ‘I’m going to change the world; I’m the best’, but then you don’t show me any proof that you’re doing it right or that you’re moving in the right direction.”

Practice makes perfect

Nobody got anywhere without putting in the hard graft. You can’t just run through your pitch once and expect it to come out perfect on the day.

“Practise 1,000 times. Practice is key when it comes to PITCH and Startup Showcase, so it’s important to rehearse your performance several times to make sure you stay within the time frame and that you know your lines by heart,” advises Diogo.

You’re not selling a product; you’re telling a story

According to COLLINS co-founder Brian Collins, “what ends up happening is the engineers, the product designers, they end up selling what they made instead of selling what people are looking for.”

As well as pragmatically explaining your product, the market, and how your product fits into the market, you may need to go one step further.

As Brian has put it, “you have to say ‘what’s the benefit?’; ‘how is this going to unfold in the larger trends of the culture?’. You need to be able to tell a ‘why’ part of the equation”.

All hands on deck

“Work on your deck! The pitch deck is a very important piece throughout PITCH, not only because it’s one of the elements used when selecting startups for the group rounds of the competition, but also because it will be displayed during your stage performance,” warns Diogo.

In short, our resident pitch expert says, “make sure it’s the right size, has the right amount of information, and is well designed”.

We hope these tips will get your pitch ready for Web Summit Qatar. Meet you there.

Main image: Web Summit

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