How to Prepare for an Investor Pitch & Win Them Over
May 22, 2023
8 min read
Your project or business is precious to you. Now, you just need to get investors to see its value. We’ll go over how to prepare for an investor pitch as well as what your pitch should (and shouldn’t) include. Here’s what we’ll cover in detail:
What is an investor pitch?
What you should include in an investor pitch (what investors look for)
What you shouldn’t do when pitching to investors
How to prepare for an investor pitch with AI (and more)
What Is an Investor Pitch?
An investor pitch is a presentation that entrepreneurs use to persuade potential investors to fund their project or business. The goal of an investor pitch is to get investors excited about the endeavor and to convince them that it’s a good investment.
What to Include in an Investor Pitch
Let’s go over some of the key elements that you should include in your investor pitch.
Executive Summary: This is a brief overview of your project or business, including its mission, vision, and goals.
Problem: Investors want to know that there’s a real problem that your business is solving. The problem should be big enough to be worth solving, and it should be something that people are willing to pay to solve.
Solution: How does your business solve the problem? The solution should be unique and differentiated, and it should be something that can be easily scaled.
Market: Who’s your target market? How big is the market? Investors want to know that there’s a large enough market for your business. The market should be growing, and it should be a market that you can easily reach.
Competition: Who’s your competition? Be ready to briefly address your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, their target market, and their marketing strategies.
Financials: What are your financial positions and projections? Investors want to see that your business is financially sound. The financials should show that your business is profitable and that you have a plan for growth.
Exit Strategy: It’s never too early to have an exit strategy. A plan can help protect your interests and ensure that your business is sold or transferred in a way that’s beneficial to you and your stakeholders.
Team: Who are the key members of your team? What are their backgrounds and experience? Investors want to invest in the team behind the business. The team should be experienced and qualified, and they should have a track record of success.
Investors will want to know as much as possible about your business before they invest. So, provide them with this information, and you can increase your chances of getting funded.
What to Avoid When Pitching to Investors
We’ve looked at what you should do. Next, let’s review several things you shouldn’t do when pitching to investors.
Don’t oversell your business. Investors are more likely to be interested in a business that’s realistic about its potential.
Don’t be afraid to ask for money. Investors aren’t going to invest in your business if you don’t ask them to. Naturally, they expect you to ask for money, so don’t fumble the ball on the one-yard line.
Don’t be afraid to answer questions. Investors will have questions about your business. Invite questions, and be prepared to answer them honestly and confidently.
Don’t be late. Investors are busy people, so they don’t appreciate it when you keep them waiting.
Don’t be unprepared. Make sure you’ve practiced your pitch and that you have all the necessary information to answer investor questions. (We’ll go over how to prepare for an investor pitch below.)
Don’t be unprofessional. Investors are looking for businesses that are run by professional people. Dress appropriately, be on time, and be respectful.
Don’t be negative. Investors want to invest in businesses that are optimistic and have a positive outlook. While you don’t want to hide the challenges you’re facing, don’t dwell on them. Instead, focus on the opportunities.
Don’t be defensive. Investors will ask tough questions. Don’t take their questions personally, and don’t get defensive. They’re not your adversary.
Don’t be a know-it-all. Investors appreciate entrepreneurs who are humble and willing to learn. Admit when you don’t know something, and welcome feedback.
Don’t be afraid to walk away. If you don’t feel comfortable with an investor, don’t be afraid to walk away. There are plenty of other investors out there who will be interested in your business.
Now, let’s go over some tips on how to prepare for an investor pitch. This includes creating your pitch deck and practicing your presentation.
Do your research. Before you start pitching, make sure you know everything there is to know about your business. This includes your target market, your competition, your financials, etc. (the elements we covered in the section above).
Tailor your pitch to your audience. Different investors have different interests and priorities. Before you pitch, take some time to learn about the investors you’ll be speaking to. What are their interests? What are their investment criteria?
Create a pitch deck. A pitch deck is a visual presentation that summarizes your project or business. It should include the elements outlined in the section above (your executive summary, problem, solution, etc.).
Start with a strong hook. The first few slides of your pitch should grab the investors’ attention and make them want to learn more.
Be clear and concise. Investors are busy people, so they don’t have time for long, drawn-out pitches. Get to the point quickly, and make sure your message is easy to understand.
Be persuasive. Build a case like a sharp prosecutor. Use data, statistics, and case studies to support your claims.
Be enthusiastic. Make your excitement contagious. Cast a compelling vision for the future. Get the investors to care about solving the problem that your project or business aims to solve.
Be confident. Investors want to invest in people who believe in themselves and their business. Be confident in your pitch and in your ability to execute on your business plan.
Practice Your Delivery
The more you practice, the more confident you’ll be when you deliver it to investors. You’ll want to practice delivering the presentation as well as answering questions. You can practice with friends or family—and on your own with an AI speech coach like Yoodli. Here’s how.
Make sure you have a camera and microphone connected. (If you don’t want to use the video feature, Yoodli will record just the audio. You just won’t get feedback on visual aspects of your delivery, such as eye contact.)
Hover over Practice, and select Speech.
Next, record what you plan to say. Then, click on Stop and Save Recording.
In just a moment, Yoodli will provide you with a transcript of what you said and analytics on your word choices and delivery. This includes feedback on your filler words, weak words, etc.
Investors will have questions about your business. So, be prepared to answer them honestly and confidently. Here’s how you can practice answering questions and follow-ups with the Yoodli AI speech coach:
Next, click on “I want to practice with my own questions.”
In the My Questions area, manually enter a question you think you might be asked during the pitch. For example, you could add “What’s your customer acquisition cost?” or “What would you do if you we invested only half of what you’re asking for?”
Toggle on the Ask Me AI Follow-Ups. (This option works for one question at a time because it generates the next question based on your answer to the first question.)
When you’re ready, click on Start Practicing.
This video walks you through the AI Follow-Ups feature.
The more you practice your investor pitch, the more prepared and confident you’ll feel when you go into the presentation.
Find Your Investors
As you go through the pitch process, be patient and optimistic. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get funded right away. If your request gets turned down, don’t take it personally. But, do seek to understand the reason for it. Make any needed adjustments. Keep in mind, though, that you might not need to make any changes; some investments and investors just aren’t a match for each other. Keep pitching, and eventually you’ll find the right investors for you and your business.
Now that you know how to prepare for an investor pitch, you’re well on your way to creating an effective presentation that will get your project or business funded. These are exciting times. You’ve got this!
Note: This post was created in partnership with artificial intelligence.
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