An inevitable presentation that every venture and start-up has to face is the pitch for investment. No matter how grand your idea is, when it comes to raising funding, investors want to get to know the entrepreneur and the business before they invest.
Incubators, angel investors’ offices and investment competitions are a few of the places where you get the opportunity to put your idea before a panel of investors and have the chance to knock their socks off (yes, some of them keep their funds there).
However, before going in front of these benevolent beings, instructions are received with regards to the pitch: “You will have 2 minutes to pitch to the investors and should not exceed 10 slides.” This email is often followed with moments of hyper anxiety, difficulty in breathing, nervous pacing and moments of despair.
Once these symptoms have passed, a series of questions arise:
- How small can I make my font?
- If I make content appear and disappear on the slide does that count as 1 or 2 slides?
- How many words can I say in 1 minute?
- How can I minimise the number of breaths I need?
- WHY DO THEY WANT TO TORTURE US?
Know your big idea
At Show & Tell, we do not view these instructions as absurd attempts at intimidation. The fact is any idea should be presentable within 2 minutes. If it takes longer, it simply means the entrepreneur has not fully understood the idea. As Einstein said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
Understand the investors’ intent
In preparing for an investor pitch, it is important to understand the audience. Investors are not interested in all the details of your idea or business at their first meeting. They want to know the summary to gauge if you are worth exploring further. When you understand this, your approach to the points that need addressing in the 2 minutes and 10 slides changes drastically.
Don’t drown them in data
In those 2 minutes, you should not waste time presenting piles of data but instead focus on what the data means! If an investor is really interested and wants more information, they may question you mid-presentation or want to meet you afterwards. The goal is to be prepared to elaborate if needed only.
Talk up you and your team
Another important point to keep in mind is that investors rarely invest in ideas or businesses; instead they invest in you (the entrepreneur) and your team. Moulding an idea into a viable business is much easier than trying to change the mindset of the team. Therefore, as much as your numbers matter, the story of you is going to be critical.
Pitching for funding to investors is certainly a nerve-racking experience. However, just like any other presentation, if you take a little time to understand your audience and what they are after from your presentation, it is easier to understand what should and should not grace the sanctuary of your slides.