It’s the central issue of finding an investor as a startup: The pitch deck. Everybody has it, everybody wants it. But do your deck or presentation have what it needs to convince an investor? Today we share some of our Do’s and Don’ts!
Know the drill
It is needless to say that you should be an expert on your own business: Always include your target market or audience, the problem you want to tackle and your solution as well as your relevant financials and key performance indicators (KPI). Back that up with facts and figures. Keep in mind that you are probably not the only one in the hunting ground: what makes you unique and different to already existing businesses? Acknowledge your competition and do not downplay them.
But beware of too much content: Everything should be included but keep in mind that long monologues did not impress at school and do not impress investors either. Put all information in but keep it as short as possible. Aim for around 20 charts or 45 minutes. And remember to avoid delivering a role model for buzzword bingo: Keep your language simple and straight to the point.
Practice makes perfect…
Your grandmother was right with that: practice your pitch as much as possible and check with friends and family if you really got across all crucial information. Prepare yourself not only for a set up presentation but also for the elevator pitch: Can you present your idea in 60 to 120 seconds? You should always be prepared to pitch!
If you are working for a convincing presentation keep the design in mind: style equals content plus form. But don’t go overboard. Stay continuous with your design and choose a large enough font so everybody is able to read your slides. Find a good balance between texts and images to keep your audience involved and interested. If you are no design genius yourself opt for example templates or consider hiring a designer. Your pitch deck is worth the effort.
…and perfection does not exist
Don’t chase the perfect pitch deck. It simply does not exist. As your business and your ideas evolve, so should your pitch. At some point you will have to call it a day and go with what you have. Keep in mind that your time with potential investors is limited and should not be wasted with too deep analysis. That does not mean that you should lean back and trust on your improvising skills. Preparation still is key for a successful pitch.
Is anybody out there?
When you talk, the others ideally should be listening. To ensure your audience’s attention, do your homework and think about what group of people you are presenting to. This also includes carefully choosing your audience: Don’t waste your time pitching to an investor who is not interested in investing in the business area you are working in. Adapt the content of your pitch deck to your audience to keep them involved and always try to interact with them. You should also be prepared to receive feedback or even criticism. It is of no use if you can present perfectly but can’t answer basic questions. That includes how much money you want and what you are going to do with that.
Hello from the other side
In recent times pitching virtually has become more and more regular. But with its many advantages there come a few new hurdles to take on. The virtual pitch is a fine interplay between your content and set-up. Regarding your content you should remind yourself to make pauses, when possible change the speaker and don’t try to fit too much information in. But in addition to the rules that also apply with a live audience, you should pay special attention to your surroundings. If possible use two monitors and a good microphone to ensure a smooth presentation. Place the camera at eye-level and let light come from the front. Remember that you are on camera so choose your clothes wisely and use gestures and facial expressions for a more “realistic” atmosphere.
Spread the love
No matter if you pitch virtually or with a live audience: everybody should see your passion and enthusiasm for your business. Show them your love for the project to prove that you are worth their time and money. But beware of soaring too high: Arrogance or massive exaggerations destroy the trusting relationship you try to build with your future investors. Stay honest and keep away from name-dropping but don’t be afraid to show that you love what you do.
Do you have the perfect pitch deck on hand and only need an investor? Our virtual Pitch-Event CASHWALK is open for application!