The VAK pitch
When pitching, incorporate Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic components.
Mark Suster had another great post recently, where he wrote about the three acts of a startup pitch meeting: Discussion, Deck, and Demo. It helped me extend and tighten up some advice I’ve been giving startups for awhile.
The three acts can work well together because they lend themselves to sharing differing types of information. A demo is great for getting product feedback, while a deck might be helpful in illustrating how the underlying platform components will tie together. The lines are blurring (e.g., you might just discuss the customer problem instead of flashing a slide about it), but in general this still holds.
In addition, each of the three acts highlights a different modality, or ways of engaging with content. Because different people have different preferences – some need to write things down, others do best when pacing around the room – at Jump we advise startups to consider all three modalities when presenting: Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic (VAK). That way, everyone in the audience has something to latch onto.
Thus, using the three act structure, we can simplify and say that the discussion and verbal pitch are primarily auditory, the demo is kinesthetic/ physical, and the deck gives visual thinkers something to engage with.
That said, it can be even more powerful to weave all three modalities into each of the three acts. That’s why stepping up to the whiteboard can be so potent – it combines elements of all three modalities. As we all think through our pitches, we should ensure that, whether we’re in Discussion, Deck, or Demo, we are keeping the predominantly Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic in the audience engaged. Make sure you’re pointing out key elements during your demo, using your deck as a visualization tool, and encouraging people to pop up to the whiteboard with you. Actively orchestrating VAK can help your pitch stick.