by Antonia Grimard

November 19, 2019

What draws investors in to listen to your pitch deck story, and what makes them stay tuned in so you can deliver all your punchlines and win them over to your idea?

Read on to find out more, or watch the video below for more information.

After years of development and research on pitch decks, I’ve become an expert on this topic. I wanted to understand what creates that aha moment that suddenly allows the investor to get on the same page and share the passion that leads to a winning business venture. 

This led me to think deeply about why some start-ups fast track to incredible success stories, raising millions of dollars, while others, frustratingly, can’t get off the ground even though they might have stellar ideas.

Here's what my many years of personal experience and observation have taught me.

Read on to find out more or watch the video below for more information.

ENGAGE INVESTORS IN YOUR STORY

The meeting and matching up that occurs between a start-up and investor is not happenstance or a mystery. It’s a little more like online dating. The secret to success is to make your pitch deck come to life so you stand out from the crowd. The fastest way to do this is to become a great storyteller. 

If you have watched Nancy Durante’s Ted Talks, she demonstrates in her presentation how your heartbeat goes up and down when someone tells you a story but remains static during a presentation. That’s terrifying when your goal is to get investors to remember your business idea, let alone invest in it.

As she correctly points out, your job when presenting is to get investors to move from their cynical way of thinking about your company, to believing your business idea is the answer and then go on to remember why it’s such a special idea.

And the way to get them to remember you solution is to engage them in your story. 

There’s an old formula that says information + emotion creates long term memory. That means you need to combine pitching and storytelling to be memorable or in this case, be asked on a second date.

Once you figure out how to create a story that is equivalent to a pitch-desk bestseller, I need you to go back over your story and make sure you have ticked off these simple points:

1. Setting the scene

A great story jumps right in with action or dialogue that grabs attention. Make sure your pitch deck does the same. That can come in many forms like introducing a character that carries your story forward and brings your solution to life. 

Injecting a little humour, or a powerful quote or an arresting anecdote can also create an interesting change of story tempo. All of these different kinds of narrative will make the story of your business idea far more meaningful and memorable. And that narrative will linger far longer in the mind of investors than a whole lot of dry bullet points and pie charts.

2. Give your story some tension

Think of a classic film like the Godfather, the plot has numerous points where the tension rises before it falls. Your pitch deck should do the same. 

Some of the best presentations follow this kind of storyline and it’s a no brainer that they are also the most well-known presentations of all time. Think Martin Luther King and Steve Jobs. Their presentations had highs and lows built around a strong storyline.

Your job is to regale your potential investors with an interesting tale that supports your pitch. At the very worst, if they choose not to invest, they will remember your business pitch and might mention your opportunity to other investors. 

So, we’ve set the scene, created a storyline with tension; what’s next?

3. Creating the big picture
When startups present their pitch decks most have plenty of information. Often their slides are packed with too much detail – so like a good editor it can be helpful to do some content trimming. 

Take another look at your pitch deck. You might have separate slides about your product and traction and business model and market, budget and team. Sounds good. But by the time you’ve got through all of that some of your would-be investors are probably nodding off. 

That’s because a pitch deck with a lot of disconnected slides can be a little like a jigsaw puzzle that hasn’t been assembled yet. The pieces are all there, but right now they are still sitting in a pile on the floor. In order to make your pitch deck story compelling you need to put all the jigsaw pieces together and keep bringing your potential investors back to the big picture about the opportunity you are presenting.

Keep your story entertaining and find a way to for each slide to dovetail into a cohesive bigger picture.

4. Don’t forget your point of difference

Imagine you’ve just found yourself in an elevator with your an investor you’ve been trying to get an appointment with for months. You have just moments to make your pitch. 

Trouble is investors sit through hundreds of pitches every month and may not have time to hear a lengthy story another business idea. Think of this as a mini-pitch and don’t let it go beyond two sentences. If you see their eyes glazing over, then you will have lost your opportunity with that potential investor no matter how unique your solution may be.

Make sure you have a short sharp story about the WOW factor of your business idea. What does your product offer that is different, how is it a game changer and how is it superior to the competition? Practice your elevator pitch until you can do it effortlessly.

Here’s an analogy for you, consider yourself a gun slinger and your elevator pitch your guns. When it comes to the crunch you want your pitch to come out fast and accurately hit the target. No hesitation as your life depends on speed and accuracy.

5. Closing with impact

When you come to the end of your pitch make sure you go out with a bang. Keep your summary short and focus on your final call to action. You want to conclude your pitch on a confident high with a statement that is going to stick in the minds of investors. 

I can’t stress this enough, practice your pitch and your elevator pitch on anyone and everyone you meet. It will make you a better presenter.

get your free pitch deck content guide

If you want a great road map to what the slides you should include in your pitch deck, download my pdf guide. It has the key points investors are looking for and some great tips on how to expand on those points.

Everyone you meet should be a pitch opportunity. Now get out there and pitch with passion and remember...

You are just one pitch away from success!

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About the author 

Antonia Grimard

Hi, I'm Antonia, and I know that through compelling visuals and effective messaging, you can inspire people to take action to buy your product or invest in your idea. Getting it right is crucial. My job is to strongly communicate who you are to your customers, employees and investors through a powerfully crafted message. I've helped thousands of companies, business owners and entrepreneurs develop compelling business narratives that have grown their businesses, increased sales and won multi-million dollar investors.

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