There are 2 schools of thought that most people assume are contradictory.
First that, people buy from other people – so folks buy because they like the other person and if they like the person they will buy anything (or everything from that person).
The other school of thought is that people want to buy from a trusted brand, so even if the individual goes away the business remains to support what they bought.
Actually they are both true.
People dont just buy from other people, they buy from people they like.
Which brings me to the demo day pitch. If you dont create an emotional connect with your audience quickly enough (first 30 seconds) you are likely to be perceived as wooden, robotic or impersonal.
The best entrepreneurs realize they are saleswomen and show-women first and CEO’s next. That does not mean they are “watch your pocket near them”, sales people.
One of the things I learned very early in my sales career was that you need to appeal to the “heart, mind and the wallet”. That means, you have to emotionally connect with your buyer, then appeal to their brain, by solving the problem they have and finally ensuring they are willing to part with money to solve that problem.
Hopefully if you solve a problem that they have, then parting with money is an automatic, but if you dont appeal to them emotionally (or to their heart), then they will likely try and make the decision purely on the merits of your product, company, website, etc.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing for some people, but if the emotional connect does not exist, then they will look for reasons to not want to do the deal, if it does not meet any of their criteria (or “features”).
The first thing your audience at the demo day is trying to do is answer the question – “Is this worth my time, or should I go back to looking at my smartphone and get distracted for a few minutes”?
The best way to answer the question is to appeal to them with a problem they likely have themselves or ensure they know someone with this problem.
After that they are evaluating if the problem is large enough – market.
The last thing they try to assess is if you are the right team to solve it.
Surprisingly all this happens in seconds if not minutes.
I have seen many investors decide in the first 60 seconds if they want to “Work with the person” and then do their “due diligence” over the next few weeks, months or quarters to consummate the deal.
So the best thing you can do for yourself and your startup is to tell a personal story that appeals to your audience, with something they can relate to.
See to their heart first, then the mind and finally their wallet.