Attracting capital requires a killer pitch. The pitch must have purpose and clarity, articulating what the founder wants to achieve and clearly presenting the proposition.
Context and content is everything. But in addition to the nine components that founders need to get right, a well presented and rehearsed pitch is essential.
Having been on the receiving end of many pitches, I have 10 tips for founders looking to maximise their chances of winning over an audience.
1. Use storytelling to communicate the problem and solution.
The best pitches capitalise on the power of the story.
A story allows founders to bring the problem to life and connect emotionally with the listener.
2. Keep it simple. Don’t use too many words and numbers.
By explaining the purpose of the business in very simplistic terms, founders will be able to communicate the problem and solution in a message that is clear and engaging.
Technical jargon should be avoided at all costs.
3. Get a designer to do a makeover of the pitch deck.
A graphic designer can make a pitch deck more organised and visually engaging, acting as a prompt and helping founders communicate more effectively with prospective investors.
4. Use lots of strong visuals.
Visual charts and graphs can help founders to convey complex information in a simple and engaging manner.
5. Know the audience.
Showing a deep understanding of the people founders are pitching to will help build a relationship.
Founders should research their backgrounds, areas of expertise and other investments.
6. Practice the pitch until you can nail it every time.
Founders should rehearse and seek feedback on their pitch, including practising questions and answer sessions.
Asking a team member to pitch the business can help galvanise the most important messages to get across.
7. Don’t memorise the pitch word for word.
A well-rehearsed pitch doesn’t mean it’s learnt word-for-word.
The presentation should act as a prompt but a robotic monologue isn’t engaging.
8. Look for great pick decks on the internet.
Facebook, Airbnb and 18 other great pitch decks collated on Piktochart will give founders all the inspiration needed for a great presentation.
9. Don’t run out of time.
Timing is everything.
Before pitching, founders should know the time they have available so they can practice their delivery to ensure they don’t run out of time.
10. Finish the pitch with a bang.
The conclusion of a pitch should contain a clear summary outlining why investors should put their money in the startup.
This is the opportunity to bring all the elements of the pitch together.