Updated: Dec 7, 2021
The ability to pitch one's business idea, product, or services effectively can lead to millions of dollars in funding. However, pitching is not an art form that everyone is familiar with. Presenting your company in an organized manner while making it sound convincing requires extensive experience and practice. But with Black Girl Ventures pitch practices, we get you ready in a fraction of the time. However, in the meantime, these 7 incredible ways to polish and tighten your pitch will help you learn how to optimize your pitches so that investors will be more inclined to invest in you.
"What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone, know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed." Dave Thomas, Founder, Wendy's
1. Tell A Powerful Story
"Usually, the first question I ask is, what inspired you to invent this product?" Ron Conway
Most entrepreneurs want to jump the gun because they are eager to share data and analytics. Although that information is essential, the most crucial element of a pitch is storytelling. People buy products based on emotion and then justify the purchase with logic. The numbers and the data cannot show your why. Therefore, tying the product to a powerful story will result in an emotional connection with the audience.
A big mistake many entrepreneurs make is regurgitating a script they've memorized. Investors are pitched to quite often, which means they have a sixth sense in recognizing disengaged pitches. Many of them invest in businesses and ideas that will impact the world—if the story isn't powerful enough, they won't want to invest.
Likewise, during the pitch, it's essential to know the needs and motives of the investors. For instance, do any of them care about the exact causes that you care about? If so, this is an excellent opportunity to tie the cause with theirs to create a powerful combination.
This leads us to the next important piece.
1. Tell a powerful story.
Entrepreneurs who pitch blindly to investors without knowing something about them miss another great opportunity to connect. For instance, do they know who the investors are at the pitch competition?
Think of a job interview. Nothing impresses an employer more than when a potential candidate shares specific details about their company. During the pitch, be sure to mention something related to the investors' problems.
Remember, original ideas aren't that original anymore, but connecting the problem with an immediate solution will pay dividends. Investors will pay closer attention when this information is clear. Do a little research about the investors because it will set you apart from everyone else.
3. Showcase the benefits & results.
Speaking in front of a large (and somewhat influential) audience is intimidating. The idea that these people have the deciding factor in scaling your business would make anyone's palms sweaty.
The best way to overcome this for timid speakers is by letting your product do all the talking. This is the opportunity to highlight some features. The ultimate goal is to have investors shaking their heads in agreement with the product, the features, and the benefits. The goal is to wow them! Let's break this down even further.
First, if possible, have a mock-up or prototype of your product. Entrepreneurs know their products inside and out. Being able to speak confidently about them is where the zone of genius lies. Therefore, speak up with intensity about the product and show every detail and benefit imaginable.
This matters because it helps investors to feel, touch, and connect with the product. Letting a potential investor "try before they buy" creates an ownership experience that will increase the probability of investing in your product.
Second, share any testimonials that show the product in action. Good testimonials (preferably videos) showing people using the product will have a compelling impact on the investors, depending on the venue layout of the pitch competition.
Third, every investor wants to see the profit projections. Another mistake that entrepreneurs make when explaining projected profits is that they're too vague. Be specific with the numbers and show them the money. Using a client story plus the profit margins, investors will have an idea of who's buying and for how much. But, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The last key ingredient is a pitch deck.
"An entrepreneur must pitch a potential investor for what the company is worth as well as sell the dream on how much of a profit can be made." Daymond John
4. Prepare the perfect pitch deck.
A pitch deck is a necessary part of the pitch presentation. Don't just throw a PowerPoint slide together. This presentation is the first impression. This means either the investors will remember the business or product or forget about it altogether.
The pitch deck is kind of like a brag book. This is where the details about the business, the team, the product, and its benefits (and results) will be. BGV helps founders develop their pitch decks in the most efficient way possible. You can watch previous pitch competition videos and RSVP for the next pitch competition. Another significant question that investors will ask is, why you, why your product?
5. Can your product beat the market?
This is the moment to tie everything back to the personal story. Return to the why by exuding passion and confidence. Then it's time to differentiate the business from others. What advantages does the company have against the competition? Is it technology? Maybe the business has a solid marketing plan?
Furthermore, this is the time to be transparent. Chances are, there might be a similar product already on the market, and most investors will be aware of this. Don't be that entrepreneur that's blindsided by not doing the market research. Research the competition and lay it all out on the table. For instance, tell them what the competitors have and then tell them the critical distinction between your product and theirs. This leads us to the next very last crucial element: objections.
6. Get to the objections before they do.
People are naturally skeptical. Can the product do what it says it'll do? Therefore, identify as many objections as possible. Real estate agents know oh too well about objections, so what do they do? They tie the objections into their presentations.
Once the objections are incorporated, there's not much else to say because every angle is covered. This will take some work, such as understanding what prevents customers from buying. The next step is to memorize and rehearse these objections and be ready to present solutions. But you'll be glad you did.
This shows that the business has completed its due diligence. There might be an issue that the company cannot solve in some circumstances, but being aware of the problem itself is enough.
7. Your mission: pitch and pitch a lot
There are quite a few elements to the pitch, and frankly, this is only scratching the surface. However, it isn't a lack of knowledge because entrepreneurs understand their products. They can spit out the data and analytics.
Ultimately, it's presenting the information in a polished and compelling manner. Is there a good and powerful story? While pitching, is the language succinct and straightforward? Was the communication clear about why the product matters and how much revenue it will generate from the market?
Pitching to investors is an art form because it takes practice and preparation. It takes having a dialogue with your audience. But once all the elements are there, the next step is to present everything with conviction and enthusiasm. Any entrepreneur who understands these elements will connect deeper to their audience in levels that will transform their business.
Once you master the art of pitching, by including these 7 incredible ways to polish and tighten your pitch all that's left is to go out there and pitch, pitch!