Selling your business idea to potential investors can be both exciting and nerve-wrecking. However, having a brilliant idea means nothing if you have a bad presentation – you need to convince people that your idea is something worth investing in. Preparation is the key to a successful pitch – know what you want, how much you need, and why you want to do it. It is also very beneficial to do your homework on the investor, so that you can position your pitch to maximise its effectiveness. Let’s look at where to start.
Before developing your pitch and message, make sure you understand who your audience will be. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
Your role as an entrepreneur is to drum up as much support and interest in your business as possible. In most cases, you won’t close any deals after your first pitch. What you will do, however, is create interest around your business, which will hopefully lead to an invitation to a second meeting, and then a third! This process isn’t easy and takes a lot of time, patience, and persistence, but the reward is more than worth it.
Remember, your investors will want a reward for their investment that at least matches what they put in. As such, your pitch needs to convince them that your business idea is viable, with a good potential ROI. During your pitch, the audience will be concerned with the following:
Audiences usually decide fairly quickly whether or not a presentation is worth paying attention to. This means that you only have a moment to give a lasting first impression, so try to hook your audience within the first 30 seconds. Start with something that will catch their attention and interest. Scott Schwertly provides the following tips to create a powerful opening:
Check out this article for some explanation on each of those points.
Another way to convey a strong opening is to make sure you know the first four minutes of your pitch without needing to look at your computer screen or notes. Oren Klaff, a renowned investor and pitch expert, suggests writing out the first 500 words of your pitch and learning them off by heart. These 500 words are equivalent to about the first three minutes of your pitch, and this is when you need to make the biggest impact.