Pitch like a Pro: Are you Introducing your Travel Startup the right way?

By on October 15, 2015 | Opinions

After all that hard work to get the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) of your travel startup rolling, you get a sense of soul satisfaction and inner happiness when you see your product live on the Play store (Alright, we mean the App store for all the iOS fans). You were always waiting for this day, right from the moment when you had initially thought of the idea and were going through those milestone marathons with your dev & design team.

As one would agree, releasing an Alpha or a Beta of your product is just the beginning of a long journey and a battle half-won. While on one end, you work on continuously improving your product, the challenge on the other end is to get the product in-front of your users, investors and the media fraternity.

Image Credit: Flickr/Sonia Su. Fall 2013 Pitch & Pizza Competition

Image Credit: Flickr/Sonia Su. Fall 2013 Pitch & Pizza Competition

You might have a killer idea but at the end of the day, it all comes down to nothing if you can’t put the message across about what you do in a clear & concise manner. So whether you are presenting in-front of a packed house or simply meeting a group, here are some helpful tips to overcome that communication challenge:

#1. Passing that 1 minute test

In an age of 140 characters, perhaps even 60 seconds might appear big to many. But when some one asks about your travel startup, can you explain it to them in under one minute? I have seen many entrepreneur pitches where after the end of the presentation, they are asked the fundamental question, “So in a nutshell, what is it that you do?”.

If you don’t have a 60 seconder pitch, it’s time to get working on one :)

#2. Those first few words

No points for guessing this one – But the beginning of your presentation is very crucial. While you are presenting with an aim to leave an everlasting impressing on your audience, those first few seconds are vital in setting the rhythm of the entire discussion.

With so many things at the back of your mind, focus on how you want to start right from the very beginning. Is it your introduction (if so, why will people care about that?) or your startup’s introduction or or the industry problem you are solving.

#3. If you are presenting, look into the eyes of your audience

So who should be more comfortable when you are pitching in-front of a packed audience? Don’t try to lean on the podium or let your hands hide in the pockets, even though it feels more relaxed for you that way.

Irrespective of the number of people who are listening to you, look into the eyes of your audience. It will make them feel special and connected to your talk.

#4. Answering that eternal question, ‘How are you different?’

Be honest to yourself, there is a strong probability of your travel startup operating in an extremely competitive space. Especially, if you look at crowded segments such as Budget Hotels Aggregators, Trip Planning or Itinerary management.

So when it comes to the question of being different, think about that little difference which separates you from all others in the fray. It could be your approach on the front-end or a back-end problem or you could be looking at a completely different market all together while solving the same problem.


Image Credits: Flickr/Tech Cocktail | Tech Cocktail’s Chicago Mixer and Startup Showcase and Sessions Event | 07.25.13

#5. One last thing, Rehearse & Rehearse :)

Be it the genius Steve Jobs or CEO & Co-founder of Liquidity, Victor Hwang, there is one thing common across all generations of great entrepreneurs. They all used to practice and rehearse their talks. According to a Forbes story, “Steve Jobs made presentations look effortless because he put in a lot of effort to get everything right”.

No matter how good you are when it comes to talking, always make it a point to rehearse, what you want to say. It will give you great confidence before you step on the dais or meet a bunch of  potential investors.

If you are from the travel industry and have any mantras on cracking the communication bubble, we would love to hear them out.

Feature Image Credit: Flickr/EpicBets EpicBets at Startup Weekend Vancouver 2011

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