Guest post by George Dragojevic of FirstSiteGuide.com
Many startups struggle to raise investment funding, and it can feel hopeless if you’re being rejected again and again.
When you hit a wall that only external funding can fill, your pitch is your greatest weapon for getting your business to the next level (or letting it fade into obscurity…).
So, what makes a pitch unforgettable and what ingredients will you need to create an irresistible, unforgettable and outstanding pitch?
Since Buzinga already detailed the important points for what you need to cover in a pitch, in this article I’ll be focusing on how to prepare yourself mentally and physically when presenting your pitch to investors.
I’ve compiled a list of 6 tips you can consider using as a way of ‘seasoning’ your pitch recipe.
Here’s what you can do to try and win over the hearts and wallets of your investors.
1. Memorize Your Pitch and Refine Your Presentation
Some people believe that memorizing and practicing their pitch will make them seem less authentic, but this is not entirely true.
If you are prepared, you can focus on your audience, walk around and simply enjoy the moment.
The best way to memorize your pitch is to break it into chunks, where you will have the intro, important points of your presentation and conclusion.
As you practice, give yourself the freedom to speak naturally while remembering the core elements of your pitch.
Make sure to practice in a more conversational style, because this will enable you to memorize the pitch naturally and you won’t feel the kind of pressure you would if you were merely reciting a written pitch word for word.
2. Become a Storyteller
Storytelling is a proven way to capture someone’s attention and hold it.
This is what can make your pitch unforgettable.
Investors yawn when they see someone approaching them with valuations, spreadsheets and numbers.
If they want that kind of information, they can easily get it in your accompanying Information Memorandum, so you need to offer them something a spreadsheet can’t.
That is, the story and the history behind your startup.
We all love to hear a good story, and the same goes for those data-driven investors.
You’ll need to cover your startup’s key milestones, and your future milestones: Where you want to be in 1-10 years with their investment.
So, feel free to tell your story, and tell it right – You’ll get their full attention and be one step closer in achieving that much-needed funding.
3. Make It Short
Timing is critical. Of course, depending on the environment, your pitch length should vary.
But generally, the shorter the pitch, the better.
Your brilliant idea will mean nothing if you cannot present it in the time given to you.
Let’s take a look at a few important timing pointers:
- If the investors tell you that you have only a certain amount of time to pitch your idea, your pitch should be at least 5 minutes shorter.
- If you tell the investors that your pitch will take only a certain amount of time, it should take at least 1 minute less;
- Talk at a steady pace, do not rush it, especially in the end;
- If you are using slides, try not to get stuck on one for more than 3 minutes;
Giving them a short pitch is great, because if the investors are really interested, they will ask you questions.
And if not, you’ll be able to move on and save both your time and theirs.
4. Feel Free To Be Enthusiastic
When pitching your business idea you want to focus on impressing your investors, so don’t hold back, and show them your wild enthusiasm for your service or product.
They need to see that you are passionate about it, because they know that this is something that cannot be faked.
Consider increasing your energy levels, but not too much, because both you and the investors need to feel comfortable.
Don’t think that being enthusiastic will diminish your insight, professionalism, sophistication and integrity – it can only enhance all these things, so go wild.
5. Adopt Confident Body Language
We are all a little bit nervous when we find ourselves in stressful situations.
For instance, many people sway, put their hands in their pockets or make nervous movements with their hands.
All of these things can easily distract the investors and draw their attention away from the things you are saying.
You need to become aware of these habits and take control over them. You can try practicing in front of a mirror to minimize them and become more confident and compelling.
6. Look Your Best
As much as we don’t like to think about it, we ALL judge people by how they look.
Most people will agree that first impressions are everything, so don’t skimp out on buying a professional, polished outfit for your pitch.
If the investor agrees to provide you with funding, that outfit will pay for itself 100 times over.
The goal of an awesome pitch is to get the investors to practically beg you to invest in your startup.
Yes, the meat of your pitch should be flawless, but don’t underestimate the importance of presentation and communication when you’re meeting investors.
Follow these 6 tips and you’ll ensure you’re stepping into your pitch with steak AND sizzle.
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- 6 Presentation Tips For A Pitch Investors Will Remember - June 7, 2016