For many entrepreneurs, it’s easy to talk about your business for hours and hours on end, but condensing it to under 10 minutes, is a major challenge!
Delivering an effective pitch means stepping outside of the box and speaking confidently, even when you know that the odds are against you.
Every month, thousands of investors are pitched by new startups – and every month, thousands of startups are rejected. That’s because putting together a winning pitch isn’t easy.
To give a great pitch, you’re required to decide which points are most relevant, and then figure out how to tie that information together to persuade investors to be a part of it.
Out of those thousands of startups, only a few will succeed and deliver a pitch that leads to a deal.
1) Know What Makes You Special
No matter how unique your business seems, likely, it’s not as unique as you think, and you’re not going to turn an investor’s head based upon your idea alone.
Find the thing that makes you special and then examine every sentence of your pitch.
Ask yourself, “has this been said before?” and “has this investor heard this line before?”
If the answer is yes, replace it with something that the investor hasn’t heard before.
Never leave a gap where an investor has a chance to lose interest – be great from the opening sentence through to the closing.
2) Tailor Your Pitch To Your Audience
More than likely, you will have to pitch to many different investors before finally landing a deal. That’s because investors don’t all have the same goals, objectives, perspectives, experiences or backgrounds.
It is critical for you to learn about who you are pitching to before pitching to them. Knowing what is important to them will give you the opportunity to tailor your pitch accordingly.
See what you can find out about the investor. For example, do they typically invest in startups or existing businesses? Is there a specific industry that they usually invest in?
Your pitch should push the buttons that get investors excited, and always remember, an investment deal isn’t a one-way benefit.
Don’t just focus on why their investment would be great for your business, but allow them to understand why your business is perfect for their specific investment portfolio.
If you want them to understand the value of what you are delivering, you must first understand what it is that they find valuable.
3) Use Time To Your Advantage
Knowing that you only have a certain number of minutes to deliver all of your information can seem extremely restricting.
How do you explain the next three years of forecasts in ten minutes? In some cases, you may only have a minute or two to deliver your entire pitch.
Where the average startup sees limitations, a winning team will see an opportunity. A time limit can be used to your advantage if you implement the right strategy.
In many cases, investors aren’t really sold until the question and answer portion of the pitch when they get to inquire a bit further.
Knowing this, it is wise to strategise your pitch to captivate the audience with strong information; but to present the information in a way that will immediately drive specific questions during the Q&A session.
Know your audience; then use what you know to craft the perfect pitch.
4) Create an Entertaining Pitch
Consider the way a writer keeps their audience entertained.
The introduction, where the characters are introduced and the audience is given the chance to relate to the characters.
The challenge or obstacle that a beloved character is faced with and the climax as the character finds a solution. Then comes the ending.
Your pitch shouldn’t be too dissimilar. Get your potential investors connected to the characters, introduce the problem, build up to the climax, then provide a strong closing.
Investors are pitched by businesses constantly. The majority of pitches they hear, they forget about within an hour.
If you want to succeed, your pitch needs to be unforgettable.
Whatever method you take to achieve this, make sure that you give a memorable pitch that stays on the investor’s mind even after the pitch has concluded.
5) Develop a Great Pitch Deck
Your pitch deck should have enough words to summarise the message, but not so many words that the audience gets caught up in reading the slides instead of listening to your presentation.
It should be a positive tool that supports your message. Slides should be minimal but explanatory enough to stand on their own and deliver the right message even when you are not pitching.
A great pitch deck is one that helps the audience follow your presentation and visualise your message.
Ensure your pitch deck includes images and visuals, but not so many graphics – or words – that it becomes a distraction to your message.