Giving a Demo Day Pitch — Sprint Accelerator powered by Techstars Notes

There’s a lot of advice about how to put together a demo day pitch deck, but there isn’t as much advice on HOW to present a demo day pitch. I figured after all the practicing from the past week, and today’s practice session, I would share the various lessons.

  1. Speak slowly and deliberately. This is really important as we have a tendency to speak fast when we’re nervous.
  2. Find a way to release the nervous energy. Gesticulate if you naturally do that. Do NOT sway back and forth like a palm tree while giving your presentation. So if you can’t find a way to release the nervous energy then…
  3. Plant your feet firmly on the ground. This is a great way to look confident and authoritative while you’re giving your presentation.
  4. Have natural inflection while you’re giving your presentation. Your demo day pitch should be a story arc which means there’s the build up, the climax, and then the denouement. Your voice/inflection should reflect the points you want to punch and the takeaways you want your audience to have.
  5. Eye contact is important. Maintain eye contact for a complete thought/or a sentence. Find someplace in the back if it’s a big area to make it seem like you’re eyeing the person in the back.
  6. Break up sentences if they’re too long to say. We only have so much breath to say a sentence with, so if you’re finding a few too many run-on sentences then break it up.
  7. Breathe. Super important because of the above.
  8. Have a script. I was never a believer of the script pre-Techstars. However, I noticed that while I do not always say the same thing twice, having the flow works just as well as notecards, but it helps you also find places for natural inflection and emphasis.

That’s pretty much it. Anyone else have demo day presentation suggestions? I’m sure the rest of my cohort and I would love to hear it!

*Thanks to Milena Palandech for MOST if not all of these comments/suggestions.