Public speaking is not everybody’s forte. The nervousness multiplies when you know this 10-minute speech can make or break your dream. Confidence is either innate or based on a solid game plan. And while making a business pitch, especially to an investor, an entrepreneur needs both confidence and an air-tight presentation.
So how do you get this spot-on? Here are 3 things to keep in mind while pitching to investors.
1. Investors invest in YOU
The big idea, the business model, the team – all of this is important for an investor. But what they are really investing in is YOU. It’s your idea, your conviction, your passion and your leadership. A pitch should ideally last less than half an hour. This means you have the first 10-12 minutes to impress and create an impact by portraying your strongest characteristics and qualities.
Things you must highlight: Your integrity, passion, experience in having started an enterprise, knowledge in terms of domain expertise, requisite skill set (technical, marketing, management), leadership style, commitment to stick it out till the end, vision and realism. And most importantly, show them that you can be mentored and can absorb the valuable experience they have.
2. Logical and emotional progression of your pitch
While crisp formatting and a clean design of a PPT is important, your presentation has to flow in an upward emotional and logical graph. With every new slide, engage your audience, pique their interest and have them jumping out of their seats to invest.
Start off by talking about the market, current industry scenario, the challenges, where you come in and how you are solving a problem. Talk about potential obstacles, competition and how you plan to overcome them. Do not make false claims; exaggerating facts ruins your credibility. Provide validation to your statements – a market survey, a testing version of your app, a prototype of your product, among others.
3. Keep it simple, transparent and realistic
It’s best to keep a presentation clutter-free. Prepare a simple one line business pitch – tell the investors what exactly you do / are offering in one sentence, how will you monetise this idea and what’s your business model in the beginning of the presentation itself.
Mapping out an investment plan for the next 3-5 years adds to your credibility and confidence. It is also important to present a realistic financial valuation of your company; being transparent from the get go is much appreciated in the industry.
Bonus tips to keep in mind:
- Rehearse your pitch repeatedly
- Do not read the presentation verbatim
- Maintain eye contact
- Avoid looking at the screen too often
- Avoid internal inconsistencies in numbers and statistics
- Proof read multiple times and avoid any kind of typos and misspellings
- Use short, short bullet points
- Identify your target audience, potential or existing partnerships, barriers to drivers of the business, and a realistic future road map. Make sure to include all of this in your presentation
Always stay confident and believe in yourself and your team. Remember, ‘do not give up; the beginning is always the hardest.’