- When pitching your idea to investors, ensure your concept is clear, compelling, and begins with a strong hook.
- Your speech should show you're targeting a niche market, that you're passionate about your idea, and meet all the requirements that have been laid out beforehand.
- The presentation should have easy to read slides, simple language, and clearly present the problem your product or service solves.
Pitching for capital is the way to create the path for your business to move forward. Finance can be a huge roadblock and the difference between a great idea being realised or fizzling out.
It is incredibly important that the individual pitching is articulate with a confident presentation. Being able to tell a story to support the struggles of your end users is crucial.
The bigger your idea and the more value your idea brings to the end user, the more interest you will attract from the potential investors.
Here are the top nine things that need to be addressed in a pitch:
1. The pitch's concept needs to be clear
If the concept isn’t clear, then you will be grilled by the investors about what the business is trying to achieve. After the pitch, questions and answers will be very important to understanding the business proposition.
The success of the pitch depends on the investor’s understanding the problem you have identified and the solution your business is offering.
2. A compelling case for investing
Throughout the pitch, you are building a compelling case for the investors to buy into your idea and business.
Work out your objectives for the pitch, how much capital you are looking for, how this capital is going to be used, and the payback time. Understanding how the money will be generated is vital.
Your delivery needs to give the investor the information they need to make an informed decision. Define the problem and match that with an innovative solution to overcome the problem. The bigger the problem and the more innovative the solution, the more compelling the case.
3. A strong start to the pitch
The opening of your pitch gets the investors' interest. Find a way to draw their attention fast.
Starting with a story illustrating the problems faced by the end user is a sound start. Asking questions to the audience to see if they had experienced the problem is another great way to garner interest.
Keep your nerves under control and work on delivery. Having a confident mindset and managing any self-defeating thoughts is important. You need to be prepared, polished, and confident to fight for your business proposal to reach the next stage.
4. A clear niche market is essential
Demonstrate that the product is solving the problem that is being faced by a well-defined target market and show that you have traction in the marketplace.
At the moment, just choosing one target market is important as it shows you know where to do your marketing. While marketing to other target markets may be possible, show the investors you have chosen one and the impact your product is having there.
5. Exude passion and enthusiasm
You are selling your business idea to investors who are being asked to part with their money. So, the more passionate and enthusiastic you are the better.
Be careful in selecting the person to do the pitch. It doesn’t need to be the mastermind, but it is important that the person who is delivering the presentation is persuasive and energetic. And make sure they can deliver a polished presentation.
Also, consider their pace of speech. If your deliverer speaks too fast, it will be difficult for the audience to take in the details of the pitch. But also ensure they can deliver the pitch in the designated time frame. Presenting the important information in a polished manner is the goal. Reduce the content to stick to the pertinent points, so they keep within their allotted time and get the message across.
Your speaker needs to show passion and enthusiasm for your great idea and keep the content within the time frame without rushing. This takes planning, preparation, and practice.
6. Meet the requirements of the pitch
Give the investors the information to make an informed decision.
Pitch decks are easily accessible on the web: see Pitch Deck. You don’t need to use their slides, and it's better not to, but that information structure is what investors are looking for, and it is important to address each of these points.
The information that is essential to be included in your pitch is:
- Identify the problem your business is solving
- The solution
- Target market and market size
- How your business is to make revenue
- Business model
- Proprietary technology
- Marketing plan - the plan for achieving sales
- Team- who is on your team?
- Money milestones - what are you going to spend and achieve?
7. Have clear, easy to read slides
A picture says a thousand words: it's true. Ensure your graphics are clear, simple, and easy to understand.
If there are lots of words, small font, too many graphs on the screen, etc., it can be difficult to take in the information during a fast-paced pitch.
So, make it easy for the viewer: use large fonts, home in on the message you want to display, and use simple graphics.
Well-designed slides will display the professionalism of your business idea.
Using video can also support your case, especially when presenting a complex problem with a high-tech product solution. Video can get across a message in far less time and shows professionalism. Just make sure you have practised with getting the technology working, so it's seamless when going to the video and back to the slides.
8. Use easy to understand language
Being clear, articulate, and delivering with a strong voice will get your information and message across.
Ensure the pitch will have easy to digest language. If you use long, complicated language, the investors may not understand the presentation, and they may miss something.
It's a skill to make complex scenarios easy to understand. It will clarify your product and the benefits it brings. The benefits of the product are what will sell the concept.
9. Be crystal clear on your product or service
Being clear on the problem the end user is experiencing and the solution your business has developed to overcome it is essential. Being able to explain this in a concise and clear manner will be vital to your success. If there is any confusion in the mind of the presenter, this will be obvious to the viewers and the investors.
Deliver the best pitch of your life
By being diligent with each of these points, you will impress the investors. And depending on the business proposal, perhaps you can begin discussing capital investment.
Every time you pitch a product or service competition, you will learn so much. The investors will ask you questions that will help you on your journey of building your business. Even though you may not always be successful in getting the interest of an investor and raising capital, it gives you the information to look at your business with new eyes.
Then, when the time is right, when your business proposal is sound and secure, and when you’ve nailed your pitch, you’ll be onto the next phase of your business journey.
(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)
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