When a business plan is written, many feel relieved, but the main battle for investment is yet to come. And it’s about presenting an idea to investors.
The project presentation to an investor differs from other types of presentations in that the main object of attention is the founder, and not the information itself (however, it’s crucial too). During the pitch, the investor spends all the time trying to determine if you are the right person to deal with and in whose business to invest.
But let’s talk about everything in order. So, how to present a business idea to an investor effectively?
1. Prepare an Edgy Yet Uncluttered Slideshow
Make an investor presentation accompanying the pitch. Use any user-friendly presentation maker except good old PowerPoint.
Aesthetics doesn’t play a decisive role, but it affects perception. You can draw an analogy with the knowledge of a foreign language – it is important to speak correctly and clearly, but if you do it without an accent, then make a more pleasant impression on the interlocutor. The same goes for beautiful presentations.
In the seed round of funding, it is better to limit yourself to 7-10 slides, which should reflect:
- product: show what problem the startup solves and what makes it unique;
- market scale: what potential does the chosen niche have, what target audience can you reach. Use contrasting elements or infographics – for example, visually display the current scale of the market and its potential. The classic pie chart is always a win-win solution;
- competitive analysis: table of competitors with advantages and disadvantages;
- team background: brief information about the founders and key specialists of the company;
- business model: how the startup plans to make money, with specific monetization forecasts;
- business model implementation plan: sequential steps that show the vision and expertise of a startup;
- the amount of investment: how much money the team has raised or plans to raise and how it will dispose of it, aka future investment strategy;
- call to action: how you can be contacted.
Pitch trends change frequently. For example, in 2021, many startups began to include a Why now slide in their presentation, which shows why the product is relevant right now – against the backdrop of a pandemic and a global crisis. Such additions make sense, but it is better to focus on the basic content.
You can also follow one edgy trend and include a short video in your presentation where experts or opinion leaders support your idea. From their words, choose only the most important, delete the excess in a video maker.
2. Limit Your Time
Investors spend an average of 2 minutes 41 seconds on researching the presentations, with the most time they spend looking at slides that talk about the team, competitors, and financials. Time is an important commodity, and you should respect it when you are running a business. You and your investors value time. So when you pitch an idea to investors, make sure it’s short and to the point.
A great idea can be pitched in ten minutes or less. Keep your presentation brief and impactful so that you can blow investors’ minds in a matter of minutes. After that, you can take a few minutes to answer questions if you want. During this time, you will also know whether or not your investor is interested.
3. Conquer Them With Honesty
When pitching a business idea to investors, it’s critical to be truthful. Make a list of both the pros and cons of your product, with a focus on the pros. This will help to balance your presentation and make it more convincing to the investor. Before you can expect to receive money from them in exchange for your business, you must first earn their trust.
4. Stay Confident
In business meetings, your body language is crucial. Your investors are businessmen who have heard numerous entrepreneurs’ pitches. They can now assess a person’s potential solely based on handshakes! So, it is important not only what you say, but also how you do it. The timbre, tone, volume, speed of your speech, eye contact, posture, gestures, facial expressions, gait, and other body movements are important.
You must feign confidence if you want to know how to attract investors to your idea. Learn to stay calm in stressful situations and to hide your nerves. No matter how nervous you are, take control of your emotions until the end of the meeting.
5. Show Charisma
At all stages of the presentation, it is important to believe in your project and do everything so that investors also believe in it. Pay attention to Elon Musk’s presentations – from the point of view of any business guru, his speeches are a failure: he is not such a spectacular speaker, he talks strangely, moves ridiculously, and often makes mistakes. In 2019, at the presentation of CyberTruck, he tried to show the strength of the glass of the new pickup truck, but in the end, he accidentally broke it. Nevertheless, Musk runs several successful businesses and can popularize any crazy idea – even the Dogecoin! Therefore, don’t underestimate the power of charisma, which helps many founders to succeed against all odds.
A beautiful and well-written pitch is a huge plus in investment karma, which gives you extra points on the way to achieving goals. Yes, a startup with an unsuccessful product will not be saved by beautiful slides and the charisma of a speaker, but a startup with a good product surrounded by a dozen competitors can stand out precisely due to the design, aesthetics, and meanings embedded in the presentation.