Accelerators provide seed investment, mentorship, and the connections necessary for success. By the end of the program, companies that go through our accelerator for instance have found more value in the experience than the $50,000 we invested in them.

The final step of many accelerators is demo day. This is where you set the stage for the future of your business and what it will become. You speak to enterprise executives, potential customers, investors, and the general public — who already have an interest in the startups presenting. So this is a huge opportunity to gain feedback and attract interest.

Demo Day by Jalisco Campus Party/Flickr CC-2.0

Demo Day by Jalisco Campus Party/Flickr CC-2.0

Here’s how to crush your accelerator demo day presentation from the moment you walk into the room:

1. Leverage the power of emotion. You need to create an emotional attachment to what you’re doing to hook the audience from the start.

To keep all eyes on you, fill your presentation deck with supporting images, and use your words — not distracting text — to give an overview of your company and its value. Explain who is on your team, what your product does, and what problems it solves for clients.

Like any presentation, make sure the emotional bond isn’t marred by distracting “ums” or filler words, which can quickly dissolve an investor’s confidence in your professionalism.

2. Visualize your value. Break it down. Some people in the audience may know everything about your industry, but you also need to instill confidence in attendees who lack context.

A good rule is to prepare your talking points like you’re speaking to a 7th-grade audience. Explain how you bring value to your industry and the world, backing up your claims with a competitive analysis and market potential. While some of these numbers are rather arbitrary, investors will want to know you’ve done your market research.

3. Share your secret sauce. Investors want to see technology that differentiates you or makes your company run differently. People are looking for a protected patent or at least something to show that you’re ahead of the curve.

Most tech investors can think of a competitor you haven’t heard much about the moment you get started, so separate your startup from the pack by highlighting its competitive advantage.