August 20, 2007

Pitching Helps

Pitching to investors can be incredibly intimidating. However, if you are well prepared there is little to fear. There are a few things you should remember when preparing to pitch to potential investors.

  • Be Flexible: Be prepared to give five, ten, and 15-minute presentations if needed. Note that many investors will interrupt your presentation with questions. This is good. The purpose of your presentation is to help investors feel confident in you and your idea.
  • Appearance and Presentation skills: You are selling yourself as much as you are selling your idea. Presenting well and looking professional gives investors the feeling that you will be able to execute your plan.
  • Follow-up: This may sound ridiculous, but many entrepreneurs never follow up with investors who expressed interest. If investors say they are interested in your idea, do not wait for them to call you. Always leave a business card with each investor and do the best you can to get cards from each investor.
  • Don’t Ramble About the Greatness of Your Product: Investors know you love your product and think it is the greatest idea. Show passion, but focus on how you are going to market it and make money.
  • Present Your Best Information: When presenting to an investment group you never know how much time you will have. Present any vital information at the beginning.
  • Anticipate Questions: Put yourself in the shoes of the investor. Think of what questions they will ask and prepare answers for them. If you truly don’t know the answer to an investor’s question, be honest and admit that you need to do more research.
  • Handouts: Generally, distribute any handouts at the end of your presentation. Otherwise, the investors will read the handout instead of listening to what you say.