It doesn’t matter how great your idea is if your pitch can’t back it up. As a small business, you’re relying on the continued support of your investors to help you grow. Presenting them with an organised list of information and pleading for help probably isn’t enough to get the job done. By creating a great pitch, you’re giving yourself an opportunity to utilise your passion to get investors excited about backing your next venture. Here are five top tips to perfect your next pitch.
1. Cut it down
You may have heard the term “elevator pitch.” This means a pitch should be the same length as an average elevator ride. Ideally, you want to figure out how to say everything you need to say in one minute or less. Droning on and on about irrelevant details won’t get anyone closer to the heart of your proposal. Manage your words and your investors’ time carefully.
2. Showcase what you’re doing
Your idea may be a clever solution to a common problem, or an innovative take on an old service or product. Your potential investors need to know the “why” just as much as they need to know the “what”. What kind of impact do you intend to make? You need more than just a list of reasons – you need a chain of events relating to things you intend to accomplish, and you need to show how everyone’s lives will be enriched.
3. Know what they’re listening for
Always research your audience. What are investors most interested in? What have they backed before? How can you align yourself with ideals you already know they possess? This goes beyond trying to pack in as many buzzwords as possible. Everyone has things that are important to them, and your investors need to understand where your values and their values overlap. This is different from telling them what they want to hear. You need to tell them what has meaning to them, and explain what you have in common.
4. Keep it simple
If you use a lot of high tech language or industry specific jargon, it can have the opposite effect of what you’re intending. You may think it’s helping you come across as knowledgeable within your niche, but your investors may simply become confused about what you’re saying. Always speak to your investors in plain English. Using decorative words may give the impression that you’re embellishing or bamboozling the same people you’re currently asking for money.
5. Make sure everything is clear
Always keep an open line for questions and answers. While phrasing things as plain as possible helps, you may be so embedded in your concept that you forget to flesh out the details that your investors won’t understand going in. Simple misunderstandings can give your potential investors the impression that you’re trying to swindle them, and that won’t get you very far. Explain as much as you can, just be careful that you aren’t doing so it in a condescending tone.
Always remember that your potential investors will only be as passionate as you are. The delivery counts for just as much as the content of your pitch. When you ask questions and give answers, you need to make sure you remain consistent and avoid giving others the perception that you’re disorganised or deceptive.
About the author:
Zoe Anderson is a writer with an interest in business issues and trends. Zoe is also an employee of StudySelect.