Lesson 4: Tell Your Tale

Introduction

A great story makes for a memorable presentation. Not only is this an easy way to familiarise investors with your business idea, but it also builds an emotional connection with your audience. A compelling story articulates a burning challenge, an introduction of heroes (your product or service), and relatable scenarios.

Traditionally, the key moments in a story should be:

  • Introduction to the character
  • Problem/Challenge
  • Solution.

While you may spend hundreds of hours working on your business and countless nights figuring out the best way to tell your story to investors, not everyone will understand your business and its benefits as well as you do. This is why you need to ensure the story you tell is interesting, relevant, and engaging.

 To learn more storytelling tips for pitch deck presentations, read this article.

How do you craft your message?

Your investor pitch is not a lecture. Use the limited time available to share your journey with your audience. Think back to a time when someone told you a really brilliant story.

  • How did it make you feel?
  • Were you hanging on to their every word?
  • Did they animate their voice?
  • Did you want to know what happened next?
     

Telling a story, regardless of whether it’s a fairy tale or a pitch to investors, tends to follow a basic pattern:

  • The Need: The “villain” of the story, or the problem/challenge/burning platform
  • The Solution: The “hero/protagonist” of the story, or what will solve the problem and destroy the villain
  • The Business Plan: What will happen after the hero takes action?
  • Moving Forward: Assuming the hero is triumphant, what are the next intended steps?

Some of the best stories are told around products and services for previously unsolvable problems and challenges. The most engaging stories start with entrepreneurs detailing a specific challenge felt by customers; include how this struggle caught your attention and how it impacted you.

The next step is to put the challenge into context – why should investors care? How does it affect them either from a professional or personal perspective? As you pose your challenge, ensure you use the correct language and verbal hooks, drawing your investors further and further in.

This article offers a guide for capturing your audience’s attention with verbal hooks.

After outlining the challenge, it’s time to introduce your hero, or your product. Keep this section simple and avoid using too much technical language. Focus on a maximum of three challenges that your business idea can directly address.

Once you’ve completed this step, put the size of the problem into perspective for the investors. You can do this by talking about the size of your market, otherwise known as Total Addressable Market (TAM). The TAM is important to equity investors, who want to know that the market you’re serving is large enough to support your business’s growth. In other words, it needs to be worth their while to invest in your product.

Lastly, you’ll need to detail your business model, competition, risks, finances, and team. If you’ve achieved any form of traction in the market since the start of your launch, this is the time to discuss it. Traction shows potential investors that you’ve moved beyond an idea, to something that has potential as a profit-generating business.

Traction could be sales, but it might also be clients you’ve secured, new hires you’ve brought on, distributors you’ve made contact with, and partners you’re working with.
 

This article discusses what not to say in a presentation

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