How not to screw up when pitching in English?
I am opening another series of posts where I will be sharing my experience and knowledge on how to switch to foreign markets. It’s no secret that many Russian-speaking founders develop brilliant products, both technically and UX-wise. Cool IT companies have a string of top specialists behind them who create their own start-ups. However, a big pain point for founders is sales and casdev. The issue of monopolisation and consolidation of entire industries in Russia has an impact, it seems to me.
This is why Daria Michal-Rubinstein and I decided to join forces to help founders enter foreign markets more successfully. In the current circumstances, this is especially relevant, because many have relocated without a concrete plan yet.
I act in this tandem as an expert on the business side, and Daria on the English side. We certainly can’t present the product better than you, because it’s your own creation.. But we can definitely help you present it better. To make an appointment for a consultation and for more details, please send me a DM .
So how not to screw up? There is a short answer — you can’t. Let yourself make a mistake and get painful feedback. This will knock out the first batch of bullshit and stereotypes. I’ve been through this myself more than once and regularly I like to torture myself this way from time to time. After all, talking to an investor is also a sales pitch. It is not a heart-to-heart conversation saying “give me money, you have plenty of it anyways”. It is a real sale, with its own target audience, metrics and conditions.
I’ll start with some very trivial things for beginners:
1. Proofread. The easiest way is Grammarly. The medium level is to ask a relative or friend who knows English well to help out at first. Ultimate — a freelance copywriter.
2. Just watch all the YC Startup school videos. There are just over 10 and half of them are very short. You will appreciate the value of the information you get for ages, occasionally revisiting it.
3. Record your pitch several times and review it. I used to train my conference presentations this way at one time. At first, of course, it hurts, but then you’ll get used to it. I recommend going through it at least 10 times, and on the 11th one send it to Dasha and me for reviewing. We might even give you a discount for the first round 🙂
4. Pitch deck and investment deck are two different entities. Without going into too much detail, there’s a pitch deck that you pitch, and then there’s a deck that you send to an investor. In the first case, you say the main things using your mouth ( a standard 5 minute speech), in the second case, the investor is supposed to want to call you in 30 seconds. Plus, you can also keep in mind the elevator pitch, just words for 30 seconds to tell about yourself.
5. Fill out applications to all top accelerators. Having completed 3–4 applications, you will already be able to understand the main points that interest venture professionals. Out of these applications you will be able to compile the structure of the deck.
What else is important to add in your opinion?