The NY Tech Meetup is a monthly gathering for members in the New York City's growing technology community. Over 40,000 people have subscribed to the group, which means its demo nights tend to sell out quickly.
Executive Director Jessica Lawrence estimates she’s seen about 360 demos in her time with the nonprofit, and regularly advises presenters on how to craft their pitches. Here are some of her top tips:
Be able to zero in on the problem your product is solving in one or two sentences.
“One of the biggest arts to a great pitch is helping the audience connect with your product immediately,” says Lawrence.
This often means summarizing the problems it solves and how it’ll make the audience’s lives better.
Show where an existing product is failing.
Sometimes, showing how your product will solve a problem is best accomplished by demonstrating the shortcomings of an existing product or services, Lawrence says.
Use stories to connect with your audience.
“You do want to connect with the people that you’re pitching to, you want to tell them some type of story,” says Lawrence.
A compelling anecdote about what led you to create the company can illustrate how your product solves the problems you’ve identified.
Use demonstrations to showcase technology.
Lawrence says demonstrations work well for tech products: “You’re not just talking about a service or a company talking about what they offer. You’re talking about something where you can show people what you’ve built.”
Have clear goals.
Having a clear goal in mind is key, Lawrence says. What's your next step?
“For some, it’s about finding employees or finding a co-founder,” says Lawrence. "For others, it’s more about getting users and feedback and exposing themselves to the community.”
“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VABEFORE YOU GO