Pitching an idea to a roomful of potential investors can be daunting. You don’t have to be on Shark Tank talking to Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary to feel like you’re being circled by people who hold your future in the palm of their hand (right beside their checkbook). You’re wondering if they’re going to like you, your idea, your business plan, your numbers, everything! Here are some tips for how to successfully pitch your idea to a group of people you need to be on board for your business to take the next step.
Get to the Point
The less time your pitch takes, the better off you’ll be. Investors aren’t looking for you to spend hours laying out why they should give you money. If we’re honest, they don’t have time to be in your presentation for hours. If investors tell you you have a certain number of minutes to do your pitch, try to take five fewer minutes. In the event you’re using a slide show, never spend more than 3 minutes on any one slide.
Show Don’t Tell
Make sure that your pitch is more of a story than a speech. Storytelling is proven to garner more attention than just delivering a speech. Investors are more likely to be investing in you than they are your company anyway, so instead of boring them with spreadsheets and numbers, give them the passion behind your company and the story of how you got to where you are.
Dress to Impress
It doesn’t matter what sort of company you’re pitching, but you are being judged based on the way that you present yourself. Showing up like you’re going to watch a movie with your friends is going to put you behind the 8-Ball early on. Those investors are sizing up everything about you and your company, and your first impression on them is how you look. Spend some money on dressing well, looking your best, and embrace the fact that everything about you is under their microscope.
13% of people who have experienced a failed startup say they failed because they simply ran out of funding. Hopefully, these tips can help you not be a part of that group. Investors aren’t against you; they want to multiply their money. You just have to earn it.