How do you prepare to present or speak in front of investors?
It is important for entrepreneurs, even those who own start-ups and small and medium enterprises or SMEs to learn about effective pitching to investors? Can you please list some step by step tips on how to speak effectively in your investors?
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Hi and Good day
I have been part of the investor pitches multiple times..there are valuable inputs and thoughts given in multiple answers below..suggest you make the best use of them.
My two bits
1. The investors interest is something that is needed within the first two to five minutes of a pitch. So the executive summary or elevator pitch needs to be just right to make them interested. Please note that the investors know about businesses from the investing and operations end, so they don't need to know much about specifics unless they ask for it
2. The person presenting, needs to exert confidence in whatever they are pitching about, they need not have the best pitch and best presentation - they need to be know what they are saying and should be able to handle questions within that boundary limits. There will be surprises, because investors tend to throw the curve ball, which normally you are not prepared for, but don't worry, accept that you missed it...which is better than trying to beat around the bush and lose whatever credibility was built earlier
Overall, keep the presentation simple and don't detail too much so that there is no need for anyone to present at all..hold certain key cards to yourself and answer point blank...you should be doing absolutely fine
All the very best
Answer the questions
What business am I in
Why am I doing this business
When is the break even point/ growth / expansion phase
Where do I intend to operate in the next 5 years
How do I intend to carry out my operations.
1. Be authentic - No B.S.
2. Know the market
3. Know your numbers
4. Show the passion
5. Tell them how you will use the money
6. Tell them how you will scale the business
7. Be honest about where you need help
8. Know what you want
9. Know what you are willing to give up
10.Be prepared to adapt in real time
I AGREE with Toni Anadiotis ----- PASSION - PASSION - PASSION. This is first, then comes the necessary INFORMATION required - then the BENEFITS for the Investor - exits - returns all the necessary elements..... all this to be driven by a genuine belief in yourself, the project and a passionate DRIVE to implement. Very many people are working on a few projects with the attitude "one will succeed" instead of having a single passion!!! Passion does the selling - facts and figures must make sense, naturally, but passion sells.
Toni, start by going into you smallest, darkest closet, whoops sorry old military adage... Lol..' you said presentation not interrogation, my bad..
Step one in my prep: write, rewrite, rewrite, refine
look to capture your intended audience, and hold their attention, try not to quote something you've heard or read, be extremely comprehensive
Step two: have a trusted friend or employee read and pick it apart, then give a copy to a total stranger and ask them to do the same
remember to ask them to be critical, write down questions and anything that need clarification
Step Three: rewrite and finalize
Step four: gather a small group of neighbors, a small dinner, and ask them to listen and comment
My Last step: record your presentation, listen critically.
If you have a good investor pitch template, you definitely have a solid start when confronting potential investors. The PlanMagic Investor Pitch Template is the perfect tool for this.
I think the best way to prepare to speak in front of any group or individual for any reason is know the position, product or service so well the words will come from you with ease.
See our audiobooks VC Money and Angel Investing at staples.com, audible.com, or simplymagazine.com. VC Money derived from what VCs said is important to them, something that most pitches ignore. The starting place is: Is the market niche big enough to be of interest. Don't move on until you have gotten agreement to this key point. The second point: Welcome questions at any time. Until you answer them, they aren't listening. These often seemingly small questions often lead to important followups and other investors like to hear how you reach impromptu...because that's what business and sales is all about--listening, responding, re-evaluating. There is a lot more of course.
Speaking in public is a craft, as much as it is an art. If you are not comfortable with addressing your colleagues or family, then you won't be able to speak in front of investors. This level of comfort comes naturally for some, while for others it can be achieved through experience or special training.
You have to be able to think like your investors. In most cases, investors are much more experienced in "auditioning" situations and would like to get to the point as fast as possible - but not faster. Make sure your speech is brief, but does not gloss over important points.
Don't let the point about brevity fool you: you have to show your investors what is so special about you, and why they should pick you over a hundred others. Let your passion drive you, bring your unique proposition and selling points to the foreground for all to see.
It should be clear by now - in order to achieve all of the above, you have to have a plan. Make a point of putting together your presentation and delivery and practise it with your colleagues. Better yet, find your own personal coach to help you with the task - this will boost your confidence and effectiveness.
If you have done all of the above, your confidence should have reached a level that will make you appear before your investors without fear. Nervousness can handicap even the most well-prepared candidates, but don't let it take over you. Remember - after all, if your proposition is right, even if those investors don't get it, the next ones will.