How to Use Storytelling for Your Pitch:
Pitching Bootcamp at Urban Place & Upstream
On Monday 14/01, the 5 Upstream TLV startups are indulging in a pitching boot camp with PitchStory. They’re working hard to get ready for the Demo Day (on 31/01) where they will pitch investors. This Monday will be all about (re)writing their narrative and how to visualize their pitch.
The boot camp is organized and led by two Urban Place members and focuses on how to tell a startup story effectively. Marieke and Matan are the lead content writer and designer at Techstars Israel and with their new venture, PitchStory, they set in on helping startups get their corporate storytelling straight. Whether it’s for investors, sales meetings or branding, they apply storytelling techniques to define core messaging and attractive, smart design for any startup.
Why Corporate Storytelling?
We, humans, are storytelling animals and we have been since our existence. From the Bible to Netflix, what grabs our attention, what makes us believe and understand, are not facts but stories. If you want to successfully pitch an investor, a new client or anyone in your network, you’ll have to intrigue them with a world that they can relate to and see becoming a part of (even only by sympathizing).
Want to try out Storytelling for your own company?
Start with these 5 essentials when you write your deck, sales presentation or landing page.
1) A good story always has the same structure
Any compelling movie or book starts with somebody or a group of people (the protagonist) encountering a problem or having an incident. Then follows a search, an adventure, an experience to try and solve this problem. Along the way, the protagonist deals with all kinds of challenges and meets new people that mean something in the search. The protagonist somehow finds his/their way through the struggle and in the end is being changed by the whole process.
2) Everybody has a story
Following the above structure, do you see the story of your team? Your customers? Your investors? That’s it, just imagine yourself and your team as the protagonist and you have the start of your story. Start to write it down for yourself in the longest version possible. When writing a deck or speech, take the essence from it and implement it with the following build-up in mind (and elaborate according to the story).
What – How – For Who – What For (Problem your Solve) – Solution (Go to next point for more about this)
3)Don’t sell your product or service
Your solution, your technology, your service is innovative. There is no doubt that it’s a huge asset for your target clients or the clients of your investor. How you make others believe this though, is by triggering them with a future state of being.
- If you’re pitching investors, imagine how their typical day would benefit if their clients use your product/service. Or how would their peers look at them if they can brag with the fact that the startup they invested in has contributed to a shift in the current society/industry.
- If you’re selling your idea to possible customers, paint a picture of how their life is upgraded when using your technology.
4) Don’t tell. Show!
A picture says a thousand words. It’s a golden oldie. The visuals you choose for your slides, for your landing page and your marketing content, are essential to the story you tell. Do you see the picture we used in this blog post, our logo? We thought a lot about our visuals at PitchStory.
Here’s why we chose this picture, maybe it gives you some ideas.
- It shows emotion, which is what storytelling is all about
- The demonstration screams disrupt like any startup aims to do
- It’s fun and the people are happy
- It says “Get out there, do you your thing, stand for your idea and get moving!” (Yalla)
- It has strong colors, which grabs attention
- It symbolizes unity. You can’t do it all alone, it’s better together.
- It show chaos (balagan) and fireworks, which is how good things kick off 😉
5) It has to come from you
When you pitch your startup story, you have to do it yourself. This means that all team members need to be aligned behind the same narrative and be part of it. If you have (pay) others tell your story for you, they will never do it with the same passion and conviction as you do. So, when you rehearse any pitch, rehearse it together with the whole team, practice on each other and make sure you all tell the same story.
PitchStory is a venture by an Israeli no-nonsense designer and a Belgian perfectionist writer. We are full-blood creatives with fast beating entrepreneurial hearts. Our story started at the prestigious Barclays-Techstars Accelerator in Tel Aviv where we were the lead designer and content writer. Call us design and content consultants, mentors, creatives or anything in between. You create your story, we help you to write it, visualize it and pitch it with effect.
Shoot us a message, we’re always happy to have a little brainstorm.
Marieke 0543453623 Matan 0526884104