Since Shark Tank hit the mainstream everyone seems to be a Pitch Pro! And, yet… If you ask most startup founders, raising capital is still very difficult, if not impossible. But, why? I mean, with the hundreds of pitch contests and demo days that have popped up since Technori launched more than 6 years ago, you’d think there would be plenty of opportunities for pitch practice! Unfortunately, that’s not the case!

The number of Technori startups that come to us asking, “How do you want me to pitch my company?” leaves me shaking my head. How could a founder not know how to pitch their concept?

For starters, I would argue it’s because people are practicing the wrong pitch. The reason for this is that most of the presenting companies are being shown how to pitch to the wrong audience, and for the wrong reasons. For example, whether you’re presenting on Shark Tank, or at a networking event masquerading as a pitch contest; presenters are being prepped to entertain, rather than inspire! You’ve got to ask yourself as a presenter, “why am I here and how does my pitch benefit the host?” And, just to be clear… I am not suggesting these pitch opportunities are bad, they’re mostly great (well, some of them anyway) for exposure!

Butttttt, when pitching to a wide audience that doesn’t understand, nor cares about driver models – going through a detailed growth plan is boring and ineffective. Similarly, when presenting at a demo day; do you know who’s actually in the room and what are they even looking for? You see, in my experience, it’s actually a rarity to see a highly curated showcase matched with a highly targeted panel of judges. Why, you might ask? Simply put, it’s because to do that the host would have one helluva time filling seats!

So, what does this all mean? Should I stop going to these events? No! But, you should stop taking pitch advice from them…

Don’t have 5 different pitch styles, have 2; public and private. And, save the cheap salesman talk… It’s obvious!