An investment pitch can sound like a daunting task. But the truth is, anyone can do it! With preparation, a helpful formula, and knowledge of your business, you’ll be set to take the world of pitching by storm.
Maryanne Johnston is a communications skills expert and entrepreneur. She’s shared some of her top-tips, so that you have the confidence to tackle that investment pitch.
Maryanne believes we must all aim to achieve 2 goals in every presentation:
- Get your message across
- Get your personality across
This helps your listeners to not only take on board and remember what you say, but also to understand what qualifies you to be there and build trust and rapport with your audience.
The anatomy of an investment pitch
The first port of call when preparing for any pitch it to get inside the heads of your audience. What are they interested in? What are their expectations and what background/experience do they have around what you do.
Whilst Maryanne doesn’t believe in there being a ‘prescriptive’ approach to how you should structure your pitch the following gives you a guideline for what you might want to include:
- Market Size and Opportunity
- What you’ve achieved so far (customers/feedback/awards/funding/team)
- Demo – if possible
- IP protection
- Business Model
- Your ask
How much detail you include will depend on how long the pitch is.
The problem your product or service solves
While the investors you are pitching to are by no means lacking knowledge, you need to find a way of describing your product related to your target market and how it will improve their lives. You also need to address the competition for your product or service.
So, from an investor’s point of view, ‘what makes you different?’ and more importantly, ‘what makes you better?’
To invest money in your project, they need to be convinced that the right team is at the helm and has what it takes to make it a success.
One anecdotal stat suggests that investors tend to break their assessment down by:
- 10% – the concept/product
- 10% – the Intellectual Property and protectability of the product
- 80% – the team
Sales and Marketing
It is therefore important to describe your sales and marketing strategy to your investors. Existing revenues are good, but how will you grow your customer base and increase the revenues that will warrant the investment?
Finally, you need to be sure on the level of investment you are seeking and how you plan to use it – what milestones will you achieve?
If you were an investor parting with your hard-earned money you would want to know where the business you’re investing in is going in the future. Tell them what your ambitions for the business are in the next 3-5 years.
Consider what questions your pitch will prompt, as well as any you feel less comfortable handling and practise answering them.
With Maryanne’s advice, you’re ready to make that winning investment pitch?
Now that you’ve got the tools, all it takes is some preparation. And with that knowledge and practice, you’ll be able to tackle investment pitches with confidence. Check out Maryanne’s website if you need any more advice. You’ll find online courses, articles and podcasts to help you with all your public speaking needs. Remember, you are the heart and soul of your presentation. So, bring your passion and tell your story!