Creating a Winning Pitch Video that Attracts Investors and How Steve Jobs Pitch Punched Pepsi’s CEO John Sculley in the Stomach

Now that virtual pitching is rapidly becoming the most common way to pitch investors, it is critical to do it the right way. There are two ways of pitching virtually. Either you join a live pitching event on a platform like Zoom or you send a pre-recorded pitch. We will focus on a pre-recorded videos in this article, although most of the tips apply to both.  

Since pre-recorded video pitches are often reviewed by potential investors without the founders present, you need to make sure your video pitch is a complete representation of your opportunity. I recommend focusing on the following three areas, elevator pitch, audio/visual, and a stomach punch.

Elevator Pitch  

An elevator pitch is a short, concise way of describing your business to outsiders who have no idea about you or your business. It is a prepared mini-speech designed to spark interest in potential investors, customers, and employees. A good elevator pitch is succinct, intriguing, and memorable. A great elevator pitch makes your listener want to learn more. An amazing elevator pitch makes your listener drop everything and join you. More on this later. Imagine you are riding in an elevator with someone for 30-60 seconds. Can you describe your business idea to that person before the elevator ride is over? I recommend you focus on the five W’s plus how. -Who you are -What you are doing -Why you are doing it and why you should care -Where you will do this -When this will happen -How you are going to do it

Audio and Visual

When it comes to recording your video, it is essential that you record your screen but also yourself while pitching. If you already don’t have the chance to meet the investors in person, they should at least see you (and hopefully your passion) in the pitch. Therefore you need to record your screen as well as yourself.

If you use slides with text, we recommend that you do not use fonts smaller than 30 point size as recommended in the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint coined by Guy Kawasaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad.) There has also been research done on colors. Pay attention to the color palette of your slide deck. People are drawn to colors that stand out and make them feel warm. Use blue, purple, or green as a background for a calming effect. You can use yellow to highlight the important points. Red can be used for talking about competition. It is good to avoid color contrasts such as red and green, orange and blue, and red and blue.

Steve Job’s Stomach Punch?

As I wrote earlier, an amazing elevator pitch makes your listener drop everything and join you. Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, made one of the more famous elevator pitches to John Sculley of Pepsi.

Back in 1983, John Sculley was the president of Pepsi. He was a very highly paid executive sitting atop of one of PepsiCo’s most important divisions, and the youngest president in Pepsi’s history. Apple was looking for a CEO. Steve Jobs needed someone to run the company while he focused on product development. Although Sculley was intrigued by Apple’s rise to become a Fortune 500 company in only six years, he said he was not interested.

Jobs persisted. Eventually, Jobs had a final opportunity to pitch Sculley. During the pitch, Jobs looked Sculley in the eyes and said, “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?”

That challenge hit Sculley like a fist in the stomach. That one sentence that haunted him. It gnawed at Sculley. It would not let him sleep. It was so powerful, it finally convinced him to leave Pepsi behind and join Apple. Today, that elevator pitch is considered one of the best elevator pitches in history.

Make sure your pitch delivers a stomach punch to potential investors.

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Disclaimer: This is only for informational and discussion purposes. This does not constitute an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation of any security or any other product or service. We are not offering any legal, investment, tax, or medical advice. 

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