1. Create a pitch deck
A pitch deck is a slide deck that you’ll use to show your investors relevant information and data when you make your pitch. You should make two versions. The first should be text-heavy so you can send it out with emails. The second should have very little text and be more image-heavy so you can use it during your in-person pitch presentations.
Keep your deck to around 10–15 slides, and make sure each slide contributes to your story and provides relevant information that will help investors see the potential in your business.
2. Time your investor pitch
Your initial pitch should be short, no more than 10 minutes, tops. Practice getting all your main points across in the first few minutes. If an investor isn’t interested by the second minute of your pitch, you’re probably out of luck.
If your investor is still interested after hearing your 10 minute pitch, though, then they’ll ask questions and get more information out of you. Your pitch should include only the most important elements. Save the rest for conversations afterward.
3. Talk about how your product or service will make money
At the end of the day, investors are focused on whether or not they think they can make money off a project. So, while they might also be interested in how a product or service benefits customers and helps save the world, they first need to know that there’s a reasonable expectation of an ROI for them. This information is essential and should come early on in your pitch.
4. Tell your story
Humans are naturally drawn to a good story. So, while crunching numbers and having accurate data are essential for a good investor pitch, don’t forget about the human aspect of storytelling. In addition to making your presentation more interesting, turning your pitch into a story will also help investors get to know you personally and determine how badly they want to work with you, personally, on your business venture.
5. Know your exit plan
Having an exit strategy is key. Your investors will need to know that you’ve thought through exactly how you’ll use their investment and when they’ll be able to get it back out (along with the handsome return). Plan five years out, to be safe, and know whether you’re going for an IPO, an acqusition, licensing, or if there’s some other exit strategy that will result in a nice return for your investors.
Once you have your pitch written and your deck made, practice! In addition to knowing your presentation backward and forward, you’ll want to be prepared with answers to questions you think the investors will have after your presenation. Make sure to review our list of what investors look for when they invest to get even more insight into the inner workings of an angel investor or venture capitalist.