“Pitching is so much more than just looking or sounding cool on stage,” Viking Entrepreneur Haukur Gudjonnson declared to his followers before hailing the art of pitching as “a process of fine tuning your business strategy and the act of being able to convince people on the value of your vision”.
But if pitching really is “the new business plan” as the Viking Entrepreneur suggests, then “sounding cool on stage” just isn’t going to cut it. Think of a pitch as a one-sided conversation – albeit a prepared conversation covering key points that investors want to hear. A great way of presenting your business plan is through following the foundations outlined in Joseph Campbell’s “a hero’s journey” narrative (as used in Star Wars, Harry Potter and just about every other fantasy storyline in existence).
It is also wise to steer clear of dense texts in your presentation – keep it concise, free of technical details and most importantly avoid reading the presentation verbatim.
Valhalla Private Capital suggests treating your pitch as a muscle. Just like going for a run or lifting a weight, repetition plays a key role in improving your craft as a presenter which, in turn, is a foundational skill for a startup.
Although stakes are high, there are a few handy tips to help you sail through a pitch. For one, avoid “tricks” such as videos and animations as they almost always fail when they are needed most. However, if you have a penchant for risk and your multimedia assets refuse to work when they are needed most, keep a backup plan so as not to be left stumbling in front of potential investors.
Herein lies another tidbit – remember to breathe, relax and allow your viewers to assimilate what you are saying. After all, you are raising money for your business venture. This is an exciting time for any entrepreneur, so let your enthusiasm shine through.
Even a one-sided conversation must come to an end, at which point investors will have the floor to ask questions about your business. It’s important to keep this in mind as you prepare your pitch, and anticipate potential topics before they crop up as questions.
Personability gives you leverage to discuss what other resources you need in addition to capital, as investors have a wealth of experience and connections which could take your business venture to the next level. That being said, listen to the advice you receive as investors are looking to work with someone coachable.
Nobody expects you to know it all, as Gudjonnson’s concludes: “Mentors aren’t wasting their time to listen to you just so they can enjoy taking shots at your business, they are doing it because they want to help you [to] develop a strong business model and a great sales pitch.”
Do you have a question about angel investing? Get in touch with Valhalla Private Capital via our contact page.