Pitching to investors can be stressful and challenging even on the best of days. A good way to grab their interest in through an outstanding elevator pitch.
Elevator pitches are called… well elevator pitches because they are made to be around 30 seconds, the same amount of time it can take to get from one floor to a couple floors above. These pitches are quick and let you tell the most important information about the company. It is useful to have it memorized and and the ability to recite it, with proper body language and all, in a situation where time is of the essence.
All effective investment pitches have four main elements:
- What problem you solve
- How you solve it
- Business Model
- Demonstrated Traction
That may seem very straight to the point and direct, but remember you only have 30 seconds to say this. The more concise it is the better, but don’t make the mistake of not adding enough information, for this problem we have drafted out a template for you to use.
We solve the problem of _______ by providing the solution of _______ which provides ______ (Customer or Stakeholder) the value of_______ .
We distribute our solution by _______ and we make money by charging the (Customer or Stakeholder) an average of _______ (unit of measurement).
We have demonstrated our traction by _______ (Attract Metric #1), _______ (Attract Metric #2), and _______ (Attract Metric #3) which is growing by _______ (Target of greater than 25%) month over month.
Take another look at your problem, is it a mosquito bite, or is it a shark bite for the person experiencing the pain? If it’s a mosquito bite, go back and talk to your potential customers to find where the real paint point lies. You know you are solving a real problem when people are pulling out their wallets before you finish the speech (hypothetically).
Once you get your pitch written down with correct and useful information, practice it! Hard!
Sadly enough that is not all you have to practice now. Not only do you have to have a well spoken pitch, but your body language needs to persuasive as well. You can’t have large promises if your body shows that you are not the strongest advocate. So you have to practice your pitch with the proper body language. You have probably grown up your whole life hearing this, but practice does make perfect– or as close as you can get it. Practice your pitch in front of a mirror or video record yourself practicing and check for:
- Stepping away from your audience
- Bobbing your head as you speak
- Arms crisscrossed over your chest
- Eye contact
- Rocking back and forth
- Playing with your clothing
- Glancing away from the person you are talking to
- Playing with your hair
If you know you are going to have to pitch your business to potential investors try standing in the “powerful pose”, also known as the “Wonder Woman pose”, legs spread shoulder length apart or a little wider and hands on your hips. This pose is known to increase confidence and make you feel more powerful, even if it just lasts for a few minutes.
When you think you are done practicing, ask a friend if they like it, and ask them to be brutally honest with you. Use that feedback and practice more. Practice in front of family members and friends to feel more comfortable presenting to others. Practice your body language. See what feels comfortable and right, but doesn’t look too weak or strong.
If you need anymore help, schedule a meeting with a staff of the Park City Angels. We review hundreds of pitches every year and are ready to help you take your business to the next round of funding.