When you are pitching to potential investors your pitch deck is only one half of your story. The other half is the skill of delivering a winning pitch. And that’s what we are going to be covering today.
Read on to find out more, or watch the video below for more information.
You’ve gathered your courage and signed yourself up for a presentation day, and now you need to figure out how you are going to deliver a pitch presentation that outshines your competition. To make sure you are pitch ready, I’m going to give you four essential elements potential investors are going to be looking for on the day.
What investors will want is for you to have a compelling story, feel confidence in the founder, be able to see you have a solid plan and find your vision engaging. And the final piece of the puzzle; present with a cool head.
So how do you go about all that when you have such a short time to present?
HAVE A COMPELLING STORY
Firstly, every second will be precious, so avoid small talk. Get to the point - but be authentic in the process. The audience doesn’t need to know what you had for dinner, but investors will want to know where your idea came from and the passion that comes with it. One great idea is to include storytelling in your pitch. It is a proven way to capture your audience’s attention and increases recall of what you said.
Don’t forget, that even though you are pitching to an audience, you are still having a conversation with them. If you are presenting a complex product or service, you will need to keep your pitch simple and use jargon sparingly. It may sound simplistic, but you should be using language that aims to be concise, easy-to-understand and credible.
CONFIDENCE IS THE KEY ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE THE FOUNDER
If you are the founder and are giving the pitch on the day, investors will be watching you very closely to measure whether you have the skill sets to achieve the goals you are proposing. You will need to be confident, powerful and engaging.
My suggestion is that you practice your pitch presentation until you feel you can do it without slides in front of you. Nothing shows greater confidence than someone that knows their story well enough not to need notes.
However, that isn’t all they will be looking at; if they look into your business idea after the presentation, the founder’s skill-sets need to match the needs of a growing company. It’s best to be honest with yourselves and plan for a future team member who will have the experience to take the company forward if you don’t already have a person in place that can do that.
Being able to assess yourself and your team members against what the company will need without bias will demonstrate to investors that your vision is in line with the company’s needs.
HAVE A SOLID PLAN AND VISION FOR YOUR BUSINESS
I have no doubt you are going to have a solid plan and vision for your business but, the trick here is to convey that to your potential investors. The purpose of a pitch is to outline your business objectives and show how funding will help it to expand.
You need to ensure you explain how you plan to use their funds and demonstrate to them that their funds will be put to good use to grow the business and more importantly make them money in the process! It’s your job to show them that you will look after those funds wisely - so you will need to start the process of building up that trust in your pitch.
You are also going to need to prove to them you are low risk. You need to show investors your business model and if you have it - the initial uptake in your product or service over time. They will want to see a well thought out plan and how you’re going to achieve your business goals. In short - you will need to know your business now and into the future.
I strongly suggest you include timelines in your presentation. Setting targets for the business will prove to investors how serious you are about achieving your goals and demonstrate you have a structured plan for your future growth.
DOUBLE DOWN ON YOUR FINANCIALS
Part of a solid plan will be to know your financials inside and out. Knowing how your financials will play out both, with and without an investor’s injection of cash can demonstrate a realistic view of your business.
Speak with precision and don’t make assumptions on numbers. For instance, don’t say “Oh, we turned over about $2 million”. That won’t work. What you need to say is “We turned over $2.2 million last financial year”. Being precise will give you more credibility and give them more confidence in your business.
This may sound a bit odd, but I would also recommend not thanking them for their time. Your time is just as valuable as theirs. Express your appreciation to the audience through your body language during the presentation and your interactions with them afterwards.
KEEP A COOL HEAD
It takes a cool head not to come across as anxious and still show a level of interest. Talk about a balancing act. I suggest you bear in mind that an investment relationship goes two ways - you need to be sure about them just as much as they need to be sure about you and your business. If you have a great idea, they will be as keen as you are to get started.
How you present on the day is so essential, and nerves will come into play because, let’s face it, you have a lot riding on the outcome.
Take the time to practice your presentation, be confident, honest and above all, be prepared to put yourself out there.
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.
You may hear “no” a lot when you are out there pitching, but don’t give up. The investor you are looking for may not be in the audience today, but they are out there.
So keep on pitching with passion! You are just one pitch away from success!
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