Crafting the Perfect Pitch
A successful pitch will have investors ‘begging’ to pour their money into your company. When you can successfully deliver a pitch of what an investor wants, you will have a simply irresistible pitch.
If you’re looking to create the perfect pitch for an upcoming meeting, take the next five minutes to read this article. Your pitch deck can make or break your startup. Getting an early investment in your company can mean the difference between surviving and failing. Up to 70% of startups scale too early, and up to 90% of startups fail. According to Failory, that’s about 123,300 startups failing every day! But what are the ingredients it takes to create a compelling, unforgettable pitch?
Take Less than 10 Minutes
Time is critical for everyone. The less time it takes for you to pitch your idea, the better. The more concise you are, the more effective your pitch can be as a great idea can mean nothing if you can’t simmer it down into a few moments of unforgettable and convincing delivery. The best part about condensing your pitch into a short amount of time is that if your investors are interested, they will ask questions, but if they're not, you’ve saved everyone valuable time. If you say you only need a few minutes, try to take one minute off that pitch. Likewise, if you are given only a few minutes, try to take one off of that. Move at a good pace and if you’re using slides to pitch to investors, try not to get stuck on one slide for more than a couple minutes. This certainly doesn’t mean or should result in you rushing. The mindset for preparing your pitch should be less is more. You certainly don’t want to wing it. Just because you think you know your business inside and out doesn’t make it less frustrating for investors to hear you rambling on and on. There’s nothing more frustrating than being told, “I only need a few minutes of your time” and a pitch taking more than 20 minutes and you’re only halfway through your slides.
Stay Focused on Your Pitch
One of the most valuable assets for investors is their time. It’s important to convey respect for their time and they will translate that as you having respect for their funding as well. Since time is important, you should develop your pitch to be focused on the core components of your business’s story and potential.
Create Your Pitch Specifically for Who You are Pitching to
Your pitch deck should be tailor-made for the people you’re presenting to. Think about what their most pressing need is and how critical this need is to them. Research who you’re presenting to and present your ideas directly to them. Understand if they or their firm is especially excited about certain trends or budding sectors and see if you can use that to your benefit by piquing their interest in your presentation. Use demographic features to help pinpoint your target audience. Personalize slides with their branding and offer engaging material relevant to them. Avoid using tech talk - keep it simple and realistic. Take a deep breath and remember sometimes, less is more.
Show How You Intend to Acquire Your Intended Customers
A successful business needs to have a thorough and holistic marketing plan. If you have a great marketing idea, now is your chance to showcase your go-to-market concept. In contrast to what many people may think, products don’t sell themselves - you do. Investors want an airtight strategy on how you plan on getting your product to market. Many investors are well aware of the advantages of digital marketing so often they won’t take a second look at a product not backed by a plan that includes online marketing.
Explain What Your Product or Service is and How Investors Can Benefit
It’s always a great idea to convey to your intended audience the benefits of your product. How can the users, and investors, benefit from your solution. What problem(s) are you solving and how valuable are those solutions going to be for your future customers? Don’t just tell investors that your business is going to be a $100 million company in five years. Tell them clearly and specifically how you intend to reach this $100 million goal. Outline your business model to investors. This will show how your idea will convert into something valuable. Another thing you should include in your pitch is how your intended audience and investors can benefit from using your product over the competition if there is any. Are there any risks or benefits, or anything similar in the market today? If your product or service isn’t different from the run-of-the-mill market players, don’t even go to the meeting. Go back to step one and design something different and unique.
Turn Your Pitch into a Story
Storytelling has been proven to grab the listener’s attention. A great story can make your pitch unforgettable. Your pitch deck should tell a story, but each slide needs to be easily understood on its own. Use visuals whenever possible to help your audience visualize success. Create your titles to be takeaways and ensure your pitch tells your story even when you’re not in the room. Investors can become bored with spreadsheets, numbers, and valuations. If your investors want numbers, they can get it. What they want is something numbers can’t offer - a great, compelling story.
Explain Your Revenue Model
Investors want to know they will be making a return on their investment. An investor will truly remember your pitch if you can answer to them how your company can make them rich. You should identify which revenue model you intend on using and how you intend on applying it. While painting this picture for them, you have to be careful not to present projections that are not achievable or based on logical hypotheses. Make sure you’re ready to share the thought you and your team have put into these projections.
When investors are interested, they will ask more questions. You should plan on investors asking questions. Predict and then formulate skillful answers to these tough questions to effectively demonstrate abilities and traits investors will love to see. If you have answers ready to go for the toughest questions, you’ll definitely impress.
Practice, Practice, Practice
You’ll become more comfortable and competent with your pitch the more familiar you are with it. You will have to practice a lot to create a pitch you feel is flawless. After you practice, question if there’s anything you should change, or, if you’ve pitched to someone, ask them what they would change about it. A ‘flawless’ presentation could make you a lot of money with investors. Practice your pitch - then practice it again.
Dress to Impress and Be Enthusiastic
Investors will judge you based on your appearance. That may seem unfair, but you should expect this. Don’t skimp on the outfit you buy for your pitch. While you want to look good, the most important thing is that you’re still comfortable. This can be a challenging activity already, make sure your attire doesn’t make it any harder. You can dress the part, but that’s only half the part - you should be wildly enthusiastic, as well. You should come out of your comfort zone. A great way to increase your energy level is to be about 50% more energetic than you normally maintain.
A successful pitch will have investors begging to pour their money into your company. When you can successfully deliver a pitch of what an investor wants, you will have a simply irresistible pitch. You investors want to retire comfortably on a yacht, not just get their investment back in small increments. Show them how you intend on using their investment and leave them with an amazing pitch to keep them remembering your company even after you’ve walked out the door.