10 hacks to make your pitch awesome4 years ago Arpita Soma
Pitching to an investor can give jitters to anyone. It takes time to come up with a beautiful pitch and one has to improvise on it. You can read tons of info about ‘the art of pitching’ but nothing can prepare you for the meeting. Every meeting with an investor will teach you something.
1)Become a storyteller
An entrepreneur often has to wear multiple hats and wearing the story teller hat is of utmost importance. Weave a beautiful story around the problem you are solving and how your product is going to solve it.
2) Put up a charming and confident front
First and foremost, the pitcher should be enthusiastic about the idea he is pitching. If he doesn’t look passionate about his own idea, why would an investor feel so? Most of the times, it is the people that get funded and not the idea!
3) KISS the pitch deck.
Keep it simple, silly!
This is one time when less is more. Dont get into very verbose presentations and lengthy explanations. Dont fit too much content into one slide. Remember Guy Kawasaki’s 10-20-30 rule; 10 slides in 20 minutes with a minimum of 30-point text.
4) Facts, not fiction.
Investors like to be presented with facts than your assumptions. Having thorough knowledge of your industry and demonstrating this to the investor is the key. Validate and speak in numbers.
5) Target Market
Everyone in the world cannot be your target market. Narrow it down. If you are targeting only internet users in the age group of 24 – 50, then mention that. Do a proper market analysis and break your market into TAM, SAM and SOM.
6) Your funding needs.
Spell out how much money you will be needing and how you are going to spend it. Don’t blow up the figures by adding fancy salaries for founders and massive marketing budgets. Do your math on how much you will be spending to acquire each customer and also be prepared on the areas you can be frugal to cut down the costs.
In most of the cases, it helps to identify a few potential paying customers before approaching the investors. You might earn a few brownie points if you can impress the investors by showing some traction; offering your product as a service to validate your assumptions or getting a few paying clients using an MVP.
8) What’s in it for me?
Dont focus your entire pitch on why you need the money. Focus on what’s in it for the investor. Identify an exit strategy. Research about the investor’s other investments and check if your product complements their other portfolio companies.
Speak about competitors and how you are going to be better than them. Speak about what your competitors lack and how (if) you are trying to fill the gap. It also shows that you have done your research.
10) Sustainable and scalable growth
Give them the confidence that you have it all sorted out; how to find the right people to work for you, how are you going to find your customers, how to tackle market fluctuations and technology etc.
And most importantly, know your exit strategy…
PS: Some investors just ask for a one pager. They don’t have the patience to skim through multiple slides in a deck. Keep the one pager ready.