The Perfect Investor Pitch, Part 1

At Angel Investment Network, we’ve watched a lot of pitches in our time –
some good and some bad. Here is some of the advice we give our members on how to perfect their investor pitch. 

Key Points & Tips

  • The best way of thinking about writing a Pitching Presentation is as an “Elevator Pitch”. As the name suggests an elevator pitch should be possible to deliver in the time it takes to ride an elevator, focusing on this makes the pitcher more precise. Make every point count.
  • Start with “a hook” – a statement or question that grabs the investors’ attention and makes them want to hear more.
  • Explain exactly what your service or product does. We often hear investors saying they had no idea what the company actually does, as it gets lost in qualifying statements and fancy figures. It is hugely unlikely investors will invest in a concept they don’t understand.
  • The investors won’t expect you to cram everything into your 8-minute pitch. It is often the people with the most concise pitches have the most interest afterwards.
  • Tell a Story. Your pitch must not be a checklist of impersonal facts and figures. When you tell the story of your business, you bring it to life in an engaging, memorable way. Stories make sense and persuade in a way that a list of facts and figures can’t.

Timing

  • Time is limited, so make sure you can summarise your business within the allotted period.
  • Think hard about what your key message is and cut out all unnecessary detail.
  • Don’t get bogged down with the technical details – just tell them what it does. i.e. Walls Sausages, they don’t need to know how the pig was killed just how the sausage sizzles.
  • Don’t repeat yourself.
  • Don’t go off on a tangent, as every sentence counts.
  • Think about how much time you will allocate to each of the sections we mention below – play to your strengths.

Presentation Style

  • Speak clearly.
  • Use the Power of the Pause.  When a speaker pauses while delivering a presentation, it conveys confidence and control.
  • Conversely, someone who speaks at a hundred words a minute conveys nervousness, pause and give your audience a chance to digest your key points.
  • Be enthusiastic – Investors expect energy and dedication from entrepreneurs.
  • Don’t use acronyms or technical jargon.  Everyone should be able to understand it.
  • If you’re not an experienced public speaker, don’t be afraid to read from cards but make it a deliberate confident decision to do so, indecision will count against you.
  • Don’t simply read what is on your PowerPoint presentation (this should only contain visuals and bullet points).
  • Gestures and body language (e.g. nodding and smiling) are very important.
  • Look your best!

Practice, Practice, Practice!

  • Can you do it within the time limit?
  • Did everyone understand it?
  • Ask family, friends and colleagues for feedback.
  • Did it convey the desired message?
  • The more you practice it, the more relaxed you’ll be when you’re in front of the investors.
  • Our training session will be a good ‘Dress Rehearsal’ so please be fully prepared.

What should I include?

Below are the key points that Investors feel are most valuable to your presentation. The following slides will serve as a template and provide worked examples in each instance.

  • Pain or Problem?
  • Premise?
  • People?
  • Proof?
  • Purpose?

For more info about what to include in your investor pitch, come back next week for The Perfect Investor Pitch, Part 2.

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