You’ve got a great idea for a business or product, but don’t have the cash. One way to get the funding you need along with the guidance and experience of a practiced entrepreneur is to secure funding from an investor, or even multiple investors. Finding the right ones to pitch to can be tricky, but once you do, here are some tips to perfecting your pitch.
Solve a Problem
All the love and enthusiasm in the world won’t make your idea worthwhile if you don’t have a place in the current market. Before you pitch, you need to know what problem you’re targeting, how you’re solving it, and what makes you so qualified to do so over anyone else. It can take some time to understand the market, so don’t rush during your research phase. Consider asking other entrepreneurs if you can practice your pitch in front of them. If they can poke holes in anything, from your concept to your presentation, you can bet potential investors will too.
Compile Your Data
Data is one of the best ways you can back up your ideas. Make sure you have relevant business statistics on hand and that you can accurately relate them to your business or product idea. Your pitch deck and other materials need to be concise, organized and flow in a natural way. Don’t try to cram too much information on one page or slide, and don’t use any colors or templates that are distracting or confusing. You want a modern, sleek presentation that presents your information in a clear way.
First impressions matter. You might not want people to make a quick judgment based on your looks or introduction, but the human brain works fast, so you’ve got a limited amount of time to make your first impression a good one. Dress professionally, and have your outfit selected and prepared ahead of time. The last thing you’ll want to do while running late is iron a wrinkled shirt. Get enough sleep so you’re rested and fresh the day of. Makeup can only do so much, and if you’re exhausted, it’ll show. It can also give you a mean case of brain fog and hinder your ability to give a good presentation. In addition, make sure you’re checking off all the requirements for good hygiene while keeping to basic etiquette. For example, perfume or cologne can be a nice finishing touch, but shouldn’t be overwhelming.
If you’re not confident, it’ll show in your presentation. Practice what you’ll say as many times as you need to in order for the words to flow naturally. You can also practice what you’ll say to the investors. If you haven’t done so already, conduct some research into their recent projects and be prepared to show you’ve done that research. Practice in the shower, in the car, or while walking the dog. Make it second nature so that if something goes wrong with the technology the day of, your pitch is barely impacted.
Inviting questions shows you’re confident in your ideas and in your abilities. It shows you’re willing to be tested for imperfections and still come out on top. Since no one’s perfect, this also gives you the opportunity to react on the fly when someone has a potential issue with your idea. Flexibility and being able to accept constructive criticism with grace are absolute musts. This is also a time to ask questions yourself. Being in a room full of experts in the art of business is a rare opportunity, so why not benefit? Once you’ve completed your pitch, follow up in a timely manner to see if you can get any feedback that may help you in the future.
Pitching can be stressful, but it’s also exciting. It’s a chance to make your ideas heard and have your expertise recognized. With careful preparation and dedication, you’ll be well on your way to giving successful pitches in no time.