Know your audience
The first step in nailing your pitch is knowing your audience. If you know who you’re pitching to and what their pain points are, it’ll be much easier for you to craft a pitch that resonates. There are a few ways to find out who you should be pitching to. One of the easiest ways is to search for pitch events in your area. From there, you can see who’s hosting the event and what kind of companies they’re interested in investing in. Another way is to reach out to investors directly. When you find an investor you’re interested in, you can usually find them on social media. When you connect with an investor, they’ll usually let you know who else they’re connected with, which will give you an idea of who else you should be pitching to.
A killer deck
The deck you use when pitching your startup is incredibly important. It’s your opportunity to show your audience what your business is all about. The deck should be targeted to the people you’re pitching to so they can see the value in your idea. There are a few key things to keep in mind when creating your deck. First, the deck should be visually appealing. It’s easy to get distracted by a dull-looking slide deck. Second, make sure your deck is concise. You don’t want to try to pack in too much information in one deck. Third, tailor your deck to your audience. Don’t just use a generic deck that you’ve used before.
A confident delivery
When you pitch your business to investors, you have to be confident in your delivery. If you’re fidgeting with your hands or looking around the room, you’re going to lose your audience’s attention. You don’t have to be a natural-born performer, but you do need to be comfortable with your presentation. Practice makes perfect when it comes to pitching. The more you’re in front of a group and presenting, the more comfortable you’ll become with the process and the easier it’ll be for you to be confident and comfortable in the spotlight. If you’re worried about how you come across when pitching, there are some ways you can prepare beforehand that’ll help you be more confident and relaxed. Practice your pitch in front of a mirror a few times — or even record your pitch and watch yourself. You can also take a few deep breaths before you walk out to the room where you’re pitching.
Ask for what you want
One thing you’ll notice when pitching is that VCs ask a lot of questions. This is because they like to be thorough in their research and want to make sure they understand your business and the value you’re bringing to the table. There are a few different types of questions VCs will ask in a pitch. A clarifying question is a question that helps the investor understand more about your business. An example would be “How many customers do you currently have?” A probing question is something that tries to dig deeper into a certain aspect of your business. An example would be “Why do you think your business model is superior to your competitors?” An evaluative question is a question that helps the investor decide whether or not they should invest in your company. An example would be “What’s your fundraising goal?”
Don’t be afraid to be yourself
The best pitches are the ones that are genuine. VCs can tell when you’re faking it, so they’ll see right through you. You don’t have to be a salesperson to present your idea and get funding. Just be yourself and let your personality show through. If you’re nervous about pitching, do everything you can to calm your nerves. Take a few deep breaths before your pitch and focus on one thing. Start by visualizing yourself having a successful pitch, or imagine yourself in a calming environment. Once you’re at the event and it’s your turn to pitch, try to stay focused on your presentation and don’t let the fact that there are a lot of people watching you throw you off. Turn to the person next to you and make small talk, which will help calm your nerves.
The way you present your idea has everything to do with whether or not you get funding. After all, venture capitalists are investing in you, not just your brilliant idea. When you’re pitching, always remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Investors know that even the best businesses aren’t successful 100% of the time. If you nail these three things, though, you’re going to be well on your way to success!