Watch: storytelling can win the pitch

If you weren’t able to join Mandy, Sophie and Guy’s discussion about storytelling when you pitch, fear not; you can watch the webinar right here.

Over the course of an hour our investor, entrepreneur and story coach reveal why storytelling is such a powerful way to communicate your purpose, passion and distinctive proposition. 

Because it’s not the best innovation that gets the funding, it’s the best story

10 pitch storytelling tips for startups:
  1. Storytelling is the single most effective way to get investors, partners and customers to care and get excited about your idea. It’s also the best way to influence how your idea is talked about by others, on your behalf, once you’ve left the room.
  2. The storytelling pattern is deeply intuitive and instinctive. We’ve been telling stories for 1,000s of generations and it’s easier than you think to learn. Everyone is a natural storyteller, whatever your mind tells you. It is a skill that can be developed like any other.
  3. Believe it or not, most innovative solutions have already been pitched (!), but your story can set you apart because investors are backing the ‘jockey’, not the ‘horse’.
  4. Stories are the best vehicle to bring people on a journey with you, regardless of when or where your story starts or intends to finish. Including an ‘ordinary world’ and ‘better world’ within your story  or ‘from’ and ‘to’ (like orators Martin Luther King and Steve Jobs frequently did) gives your audience the context they need to understand your why. They will then root for you because they will understand where you’ve come from and where you’re going.
  5. Stories that demonstrate your unique lived experience and passion for your innovation will provide investors with an even greater reason to root for you. There can be great beauty in the mundane. Stories don’t have to be out of this world to be engaging. They can be real, accessible and honest to achieve great influence.
  6. Keep your pitch deck short – around 10 – 15 slides is ideal. If you’ve going over 20 slides then you’re spending too much time explaining and you’ve already lost. Showing rather than telling through stories will enable you to communicate concisely.
  7. A good investor pitch will paint a clear picture of the traction you’ve achieved to-date. Where the numbers may not yet be available, gather stories to fill the void. Demonstrate the ‘human’ nature of your impact, before the quantitative data comes through.
  8. Like him or loathe him, Elon Musk has mastered the art of storytelling by inventing and reinventing himself in-line with his ambitions. He understands that stories are living, messy things and that they must evolve to remain relevant to audiences.
  9. No story is told in a vacuum. The strongest stories are the ones people are already telling themselves (about you, your idea, sector and the world at large). The only way you can replace their story is by giving people a better one.  
  10. A stronger story can help you achieve a number of goals, especially when your idea is fragile and you don’t yet have cash to splash. From attracting the best talent to growing awareness, unlocking vital investment to communicating your impact – storytelling is the single tonic for many ailments when respected as the strategy!

There's the old adage 'people buy from people'. Your pitch isn't just about the solution. They want to see that you are someone that they can trust. I think that's what stories help us to do... build a connection with people to be able to identify with you.

Results of the attendee poll:
  • Do you want to become a better storyteller? – 100% yes / 0% no
  • Is your story currently stuck? – 75% I’m not sure / 25% yes 
  • Which areas of the business to you feel storytelling could help you, if any? – 25% Brand / 25% Investment or sales / 25% Strategy / 25% Measurement and reporting
  • Has the discussion given you insights to help grow your new idea? – 100% yes / 0% no

Thank you again to our wonderful guest speakers Mandy (Startup Discovery School) and Sophie (Dsposal) for their time and willingness to share.

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