Pitching Your Business Online? Don’t Forget to Test Your Tech

Pitching your business online

Pitching your venture can be hard. Pitching it online can be even harder.

No matter if you’re a seasoned pro or pitching for the first time, you’ll want to make sure you have practiced many times before the big event. In this new reality of virtual pitching, that also means becoming familiar with the technology you are using.

Before you give your online pitch, be sure to log on and follow these five tips.

Get to Know the Platform

Make sure you are comfortable with the technology platform you are using to hold the meeting. If you haven’t used it before, try practicing with a friendly audience to make sure you can seamlessly move around on it.

Connect to the internet and session early on the day of the pitch to test the microphone and video camera, so there are no technical glitches to slow you down or make you feel flustered.

Control Background Noise

Find a quiet place to present in order to reduce feedback noise.

Even if there is no ambient noise when you start, there’s no telling what could happen as you are pitching—sirens, train horns, leaf blowers. Be sure you are in a space that you won’t be disturbed by others walking by or visiting you.

An entrepreneur pitched me online recently and the ice cream truck drove by in his neighborhood. It was a catchy little tune coming from the truck, but it definitely made him lose focus for a moment.

Have Your Presentation Handy

Know where you saved the file and make sure it is easily accessible. Same goes for any backup slides, videos, or documents you might use in your screen share for the pitch.

Close Files on Your Desktop

If you plan to share your desktop, make sure that you don’t have any windows or websites open that you don’t want people to see. This can be unexpectedly awkward.

This also applies to your backdrop. Check that you don’t have anything behind you that you wouldn’t want people to see.

Practice Virtual Q&A

This requires you to unmute people and easily move around the presentation space to get others talking, or to address a slide in more depth.

Be prepared to use your active listening skills to demonstrate that you are hearing them—nodding, taking notes, summarizing what you heard before answering, showing both physically and mentally that you are listening to the questions, and being thoughtful about answers.

Don’t forget: Have a sense of humor about online pitching. Try not to get rattled or visibly frustrated. It’s likely that things will go wrong or not as smoothly as you would hope, especially if you are live pitching online for the first time. Being able to smile and take it in stride is a great characteristic for an entrepreneur, one that investors and others who want to support them will appreciate.

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