July 22, 2018

Developing a Pitch That Will Get You Funded

Developing a Pitch That Will Get You Funded

You’ve read a thousand, maybe more, tips on how to create the perfect pitch. You’ve been practicing enunciation and using your diaphragm to project to the room.But none of it means diddly squat if you’re not getting any offers.[ctt template=”5″ link=”yKX5k” via=”yes” ]The point of a pitch is to get your company funded, not to learn the art of public speaking or performance. [/ctt] If you want to become a great speaker, you can join Toastmasters.But if you want to get capital so you can build your product, follow these tips on Developing a Pitch That Will Get You Funded:

Play to your audience

Sure, you want to have one master deck that you can whip out at any time, anywhere. Sorry to tell you, but you should have at least five variations of your pitch deck at any given time.The fact is that it’s very unlikely you’ll be pitching or sourcing all your funding from one place. You’ll be talking to angel investors, VC firms, banks, friends and family, and possibly random strangers on the street.Not only that, you should consider your specific audience when you have the chance. If you know you’re going to be pitching to a firm that typically only invests in a certain category, you’d better make it clear how your product fits into their portfolio.But you do have to start somewhere. Try using this template deck from Forbes (scroll down after you click for some other excellent examples) to get you going. Using those examples as templates, create your dream deck with everything you’d ever want to include. Then, once you’ve booked a meeting, research every aspect of your audience and what will resonate with them. It often only takes a few slight tweaks, whether swapping out certain statistics, updating some of the lingo you use or cutting out some of the things you don’t really need to get your deck personalized and up to the next level for your audience.

Tell an easy-to-understand story

Steve Blank says that one of the most common problems with the elevator pitches he hears is that they are too complicated. When entrepreneurs tell him their product is just too complicated to craft a simple story around, his response is that “anyone can make a complicated idea sound complicated. The art is making it sound simple, compelling, and inevitable.”Yes, you’ve been gathering tons of data and are ready to pack it in. But does presenting a slide backed with a bunch of numbers tell a persuasive story? Save those numbers for later when you’re being asked questions—it will show your domain expertise and that your business model will work, but you need to start with a story that anyone can easily grasp.One way to do this, as Andy Raskin points out, is to start off by highlighting a big, relevant change in the world. Don’t talk about your product or your investors, or even the problem you’re trying to change, but a big change that has opened up new opportunities.

“When you highlight a shift in the world, you get prospects to open up about how that shift affects them, how it scares them, and where they see opportunities.” – Andy Raskin

Let your audience make connections on their own. If you’re having to spoon-feed every important aspect of your product to investors it’s time to rethink your pitch.

Stay cool

You’ve probably heard that you need to show your passion and emotion when making your pitch. But if you want to get funded, you want to show that you’re a confident leader who will execute, not just an excitable wannabe founder.Recent studies have shown that VCs actually prefer calmer demeanors, possibly because people naturally equate calmness with leadership strength. Staying cool, even in a room full of people who hold the future of your company in their hands, shows that you’re a leader worth investing in.Need a little help calming those nerves? Try some easy yoga breathing techniques. One of the easiest is to find yourself a private spot—make it a stall in the bathroom if you have to—and use the alternate nostril technique: Place one finger over one nostril and take three deep breaths. Now, the other side. Feeling better already, aren’t you?Anyone can dress up, slap together a nice-looking deck and ask for money. But these tips won’t just get you a foot in the door, they’ll get you the capital you actually need.

Did these tips for Developing a Pitch That Will Get You Funded help? Ready to get started?