How to Deliver a Killer Pitch PresentationArticle by Gilda Bonanno, May 15, 2018
As an entrepreneur, the most challenging presentation you will deliver is in front of investors. It can be nerve-wracking to make a presentation to people who can have a life-or-death influence on your business. The following 6 tips will improve your presentation and ensure that investors understand your proposal and address it on its merits:
- Think about it from the investors’ point of view
The pitch presentation is not the time to tell the investors everything you know about your product or service. Instead focus on what is important to them and follow my Golden Rule of Communications™- “communicate unto others as they want to be communicated to.” Remember that you are asking them to invest money and time, so they will be heavily focused on aspects such as value and the return on their investment. Therefore, make sure you include those elements.
- Be prepared but not overly memorized
While it may seem like a good idea to memorize your pitch, you will be distracted by worries about forgetting what you’ve memorized rather than focusing on having a discussion with the investors. Instead of memorizing every word in the entire presentation, memorize critical elements, such as key phrases, transitions, your introduction and conclusion. Then practice your content, transitions and language by delivering your presentation out loud until you are comfortable with the material. It should feel and sound natural and conversational rather than memorized.
- Anticipate questions
You can prepare for more than 90% of the questions you will be asked. For example, you know that potential investors want to know about key metrics like your sales, production costs, cash flow and patents pending. Have that information ready. For the other 10% of the questions that you can’t anticipate, rely on your background, knowledge and preparation to answer in the moment. And if you don’t have an answer, don’t bluff. Just admit that you don’t know and that you will have to get back to them with the answer.
- Remain calm when answering questions
When the investors start peppering you with questions, it may feel like you are in the shark’s tank. Remember, questions indicate that the audience is interested, which is especially true when they are deciding whether to invest money in your proposal. Don’t take the questions personally or get hostile when responding.
- Be assertive and respectful
As an entrepreneur asking for investment, you have to demonstrate that you are passionate about your product or service, knowledgeable about your market and committed to working hard. You have to be assertive when explaining the value of your idea or company and why it’s a good investment. However, you have to balance being assertive with being respectful of your audience. Avoid personal attacks, sarcasm or disparaging remarks about those who have chosen not to invest. Remember, while you may have a large personal stake in your idea or product, to your investors this conversation is business, not personal.
Don’t forget to smile. Smiling demonstrates your confidence and helps to relax you and in turn, relaxes your audience. A genuine smile helps to convey your excitement and passion for your product or service.
The next time you are pitching your product or service in front of potential investors, follow these 6 tips to ensure that the investors understand your product or service, appreciate your passion and knowledge and don’t get distracted by poor presentation skills or lack of confidence. And remember to enjoy the experience!