What Makes A Great Startup Pitch?

I was sitting at an event where startups were presenting their great ideas & was a participant too . The content of my presentation was running in my mind & I had rehearsed the timing to perfection. My presentation was visually stunning and very audience friendly. I went on stage and gave a great pitch. The applause was fairly good & I was sure of a victory or at least second place. Guess what ? I did not win.

There is nothing more inspiring than a bold idea delivered by a great speaker.

As entrepreneurs, I am guessing you can relate to a similar scenario. This made me think. What did the winning pitch have, that my pitch did not ? I found a lot of blog posts, that spoke about various stuff but was too general and unhelpful. This continued until I stumbled upon this great read.

In a globalised world, where competition is high, every individual has to sell themselves along with their idea. Great presentations are driven by a passionate speaker, who loves, breathes and dreams about his idea. But what do you do if passion is not streaming in your veins? Fret not, it can be made to look passionate by practice.

In a globalised world, where competition is high every individual along with his or her’s idea must sell themselves.

Steve jobs, was known as a great public speaker. He actually, was a great persuasive public speaker than just a public speaker. Persuasion is the action or process of persuading someone to do or believe something. You are persuading your audience to believe in you and your idea.

Steve jobs, was known as a great public speaker. He actually was a great persuasive public speaker than just a public speaker.

Art of Persuasion

The Greek philosopher Aristotle believed that effective persuasion would consist of these three elements — ethos,logos & pathos.

Ethos speaks about your character & values. It helps increase your audience trust in you and your ideas by leveraging your experiences & your education.

logos is the logical side of the argument which can be backed by statistics, numbers & facts which cement your ethos and further build trust.

pathos This is the most crucial aspect of your pitch. Pathos is when you make an emotional connect with your audience.

The Greek philosopher Aristotle believed that an audience can be persuaded if these three elements are included. — ethos,logos & pathos.

In the author’s breakdown analysis of the talks he studied, he concluded that 65 % of the presentation was pathos, 25 % logos & 10 % was others.

65 % of successful presentations focus on building an emotional connect with your audience, 25 % of facts & numbers and 10% on your education or your qualifications


Storytelling can make your idea or presentation more identifiable with your audience by building an emotional connect with your audience.So? How do you tell a story? Well, these three scenarios can help you out.

Personal Story — A story of your own experience. This enables trust between your audience and you. You are exposing of a part of your life to complete strangers. This helps build a positive atmosphere of transparency & trust.
The story of Other People — A friend, a family member or a relative who had an experience linked to your idea, worth sharing.
The story of Successful brands, companies or Organisations — There a plethora of such stories out there but you need to find the one that is rare and gives out a “wow” appeal to the audience.
Always understand that there is no fixed recipe for an amazing pitch. You improve it step by step with constant feedback from your audience.

When I analysed the winning pitch keeping the above concepts in mind. It became clear as to why I lost. They built a story of how their product ( a hard water shampoo) is going help the common man. They wove this story around their experience & brought in a certain “wow” factor. This “Wow” is for the next post where I talk about surprising your audience with takeaways that they won’t forget.

As an exercise, analyse the video, keeping the three concepts of persuasion in mind and identify them in the below pitch.

Siddharth Srinivasan is the Founder & Consultant Consult Eazy.He helps non tech entrepreneurs & small businesses to grow leveraging tools & technology.

Feature Picture Courtesy — FreePik