You’ve done all the hard work of creating and founding your exciting new venture. But when it comes to sparking investor interest, are you struggling to capture their hearts and minds? Take a look at our top tips for pitching like a pro.

Be a Storyteller

Humans are natural storytelling beings. It allows us to convey information in a personal, attention-grabbing way that your audience will be sure to remember. Investors often hear many iterations of the same tired pitch formula, so standing out from the crowd takes a little creativity and forethought. Aim to tell the story of your startup – your initial idea, some challenges you’ve overcome… the sky’s the limit.

Mind the Time

As a rule of thumb, keep it short and punchy. If you’re promising only to take a certain amount of minutes, take a minute less. Distill your ideas into a concise set of points that you can cover fully in the time you’ve specified – don’t rush your ideas or labour the point and run out of time.

If you’re using slides, don’t get stuck on one for more than a couple of minutes; this will give your presentation a sense of movement that will keep your viewers engaged. Respect for investor’s time will show your ability to respect their potential funding. It’s a sign of reliability and will provide a solid first impression, which is one of the main goals of any pitch!

Get to the Point

It might seem obvious, but be sure to cover the basics. What is your product or service? What makes it unique? Who is your target audience? How will you bring in customers? What is your revenue model?

A flashy pitch that leaves investors scratching their heads about one of these core questions is a guaranteed flop. Back these up with data and paint a picture of your plan for your investors, which should include solid digital marketing tactics.

Practice Makes Perfect

Be sure to practice not only your pitch, but also aim to rehearse some convincing answers to the more obvious (and tougher) questions that potential investors might pose. When investors are taking the time to ask you more about your startup, it’s often a good sign – so you’ll want to make sure you don’t fumble the opportunity when it arises.

Mention an Exit Strategy

It’s harsh, it’s dry, but many pitches fail to answer an underlying question from potential investors – is this investment going to give me significant returns in a short amount of time? While it’s often seen as negative to even ponder an exit for your startup, investors are pragmatic people.

Presenting them with your exit strategy – for example, an IPO, acquisition or licensing – will boost the attractiveness of investing in your company by reducing apparent risk. It’s also showing that their investment will net them potentially big returns; far more than just a cut of your (often very theoretical) future revenue stream. It’s a win-win.