by Antonia Grimard

September 23, 2019

Too many businesses make crucial mistakes when creating their pitch decks, so today I want to give you some vital tips on what to avoid when pitching your business idea to investors. If you can avoid these, you will be well on the road to having the best pitch deck ever.

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

There is a long list of ‘must do’s’ for your pitch deck but in this video I am going to give you some insights on what NOT to do - because what you don’t do and what you do do, is just as important as what you need to do. How’s that for a tongue twister…

DON’T PUT EXCESSIVE CONTENT IN YOUR PITCH DECK

If you can’t tell someone your business idea in 20 - 30 slides, you will need to look seriously at ways to shorten it. Being given the opportunity to present does not give you the right to gab on endlessly about your business. If you do, investors will zone out and you don’t want that. Be concise and get to the point. 

A pitch presentation is meant to be brief and give an investor a top level view of your business and hook them on the idea. Giving them too much information can ruin your chances. Let them know that you can go into greater depth if they have questions. If they say yes, you’ve hooked them. 

But don’t despair if they can’t commit right there and then. Investors are very busy people and suggesting a follow up meeting is another great option. If an investor is willing to take the time to meet with you a second time, you are on the right track. It’s during those follow up meetings that the magic can happen. 

DON’T READ YOUR SCRIPT

If you take away only one point from today's blog - let it be this - don’t read your script! We’ve all sat in a presentation where the presenter is reading off their cue cards or off the screen. It’s so boring! 

Practice your presentation until you’re blue in the face - this will help you memorise each point and make you look more comfortable in front of investors.

DON’T FORGET TO MAKE EYE CONTACT 

We’ve all seen a presenter look at anything but the person sitting in front of them. This can present as very sketchy.

I get it, presentations are daunting and to most people they don’t come naturally. But making eye contact can establish a connection with your audience and show confidence - it can be as simple as a quick glance. And here’s a deal breaker, when an investor asks a question, don’t look away. Look them in the eye and concentrate on what they are saying so that you can answer them clearly. 

DON’T FORGET TO SMILE

This leads me to my next tip. Don’t forget to smile and show expression. Seems obvious - but it’s extremely important. You may have given your presentation 100 times but you have to give each presentation all your energy; so smile and be engaging when it’s appropriate throughout your presentation. I say appropriate because we don’t want you coming off as a goofball.

DON’T TURN UP UNPREPARED

Here’s an important tip, don’t turn up unprepared. Make sure you have the data to back up your claims and don’t be afraid if you don’t have all the answers. Just be sure to have the answers to the obvious questions that investors will be asking you. Getting back to them with further information is a great way to keep communication going.

DON'T BE BORING

Don’t be a boring. No one wants to listen to a monotone voice. If you don’t show enthusiasm for your business idea, you can’t expect an investor to get excited. We all spend our days talking to people - but talking in front of an audience is a whole new kettle of fish. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - practice. It’ll help you avoid too many ‘umms’ and ‘ahhs’ and give you the confidence to relax.

DON’T TALK DOWN ABOUT YOUR COMPETITORS

Don’t talk down about your competitors to make you and your business look good. It will just make you look petty. But on the other hand, don’t ignore the competition either. Investors want to know that you have analysed the competition and know who your competitors are.

DON’T MAKE THE PRESENTATION ALL ABOUT YOU

Make it your mission to say ‘I’ sparingly. Your pitch deck isn’t about you - it’s about talking with investors about your business vision. A great way to avoid making the presentation about you is to talk about your team. Investors essentially invest in your idea as well as the strength of the people behind it.

DON’T OVERLOAD YOUR PRESENTATION WITH INDUSTRY JARGO

Abbreviations and acronyms may save you time, but they only work when everyone knows what they mean. Use conversational language and avoid marketing jargon at all costs. Don’t forget, you are having a conversation with an investor and jargon just hides what you really mean to say. 

DON’T PRESENT EXCESSIVE FINANCIAL FIGURES

You’ll just bury your great idea in the data. In-depth financials or data can be dropped into a separate Capability Statement. There’s nothing more professional than having documentation that goes into greater detail on hand if investors ask.

DON'T FORGET THIS ONE

This next one may seem obvious but I can’t believe how often it is overlooked - don’t be afraid to ask for the money. After all, that is what a pitch presentation is designed for and everyone in the room has the same agenda - to make money.

DON'T DO YOUR PITCH DECK YOURSELF

My final point, don’t your own pitch deck yourself. Creating a powerful pitch deck is a skill that involves storytelling, design and expertise. Presenting with anything less than a professional presentation could literally cost you the deal. A professional pitch deck designer can help you with this. 

But before you see your designer make sure you can supply them with the key points investors need to see in your pitch deck. Download my pdf guide from the button below. Not only does it cover the key points but it also gives you tips on how to expand on those points. It will be a great starting point for your designer and is guaranteed to save you money. 

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.

​Finding an investor for your business isn’t easy but don’t forget, you’re following your dream so keep on pitching with passion!

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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