Pitching a startup to investors is, well, an art form. And it’s an art form with like, real life, major consequences. It’s kind of like a first date.
You have to seem grounded yet passionate, confident but not cocky, approachable but not desperate. You have to lay your cards on the table while still building enough mystery and intrigue for there to be interest in a second date or meeting.
And just like a first date, in the startup world, first impressions are key. As good as your idea is, if you have a bad first presentation, the idea isn’t going anywhere. It’s all about presentation. The meat can come later.
Don’t Bury the Problem
On a first-pitch, lots of people begin a deep in-depth, highly researched explanation of market dynamics and the technological aspects of their product. While doing this, they forget or bury the reason that their product should exist.
Don’t Know Your Audience
So, you’ve decided not to bury the problem that you want to solve. But who has this problem and why do they need it solved? Who will buy your product? How will they use it?
This should come second after introducing the problem and should be equally clear, concise and upfront. Maybe your audience is broad. Maybe it’s very specific. But either way, you can’t expect an investor to give you money if they can’t clearly see the audience, as the audience is what will bring them their returns.
Don’t Present Clearly and Comfortably
There are many aspects to this. You want your investors to be as comfortable and open to hearing your ideas as possible. You want them to respect your idea before they even know what it is.
This means dress professionally, walk confidently. Speak at a comfortable and easily understandable pace and volume level. Have clear and concise visual aids to back up your ideas.
If you already have a website or digital presentation, make sure a professional goes over it. Know all of the information and words that you need to, both that you intend to present and that could be asked by investors. In short, be professional and prepared.