Practice makes perfect before pitching your idea to investors. It’s important that you display the right amount of confidence so that investors will believe in you and your business idea.
That’s why we asked 10 successful entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:
Q. Getting your pitch right for investors is vital—after all, you only get so many chances to raise the funds you need. What is the best way to practice your presentation?
1. Utilize your co-founders
Practice with your other founders and really drill one another with tough questions. It’s vital that you attempt to poke as many holes in the business before you actually pitch, so that you have a strong understanding of what your business’s strengths and weaknesses are. —Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC
2. Video yourself
3. Cut the jargon
Knowing your pitch inside out is key, but what’s more important is being able to explain your idea to the everyday consumer. If you can’t do this, you need to step back and reassess before meeting with investors. You also need to be able to articulate why your idea’s important—what problem are you solving? —Stephen Ufford, Trulioo
4. Practice pitching to those who are unbiased
You can’t just practice pitch to your cheerleaders who are going to give you high marks. You need to get a real, honest critique of your pitch and presentation style. Preferably, find experienced startup founders (who have already raised funds) or actual investors that can act as mentors—people who will give you honest input on your business plan, presentation, and overall pitch. —Shawn Schulze, HomeArea.com
5. Pitch to brutally honest friends
I make my pitch to the most brutally honest friends I have. I don’t tell them to be fair; I tell them to absolutely pull apart everything I say. That helps me prepare for a worst-case scenario, and I almost always encounter objections I didn’t expect. —Zev Herman, Superior Lighting
6. Really play with it
I think it is incredibly important to have fun while pitching. It can be easy to overthink your pitch, or to get in your head, so when I practice my pitch, I do one where I go crazy with it. Loud voices, jokes, silliness—I get it all out. It not only gets me out of my shell, but makes me aware of parts of my pitch that may not work. Then I adjust and practice for real. I always come out feeling more confident. —Adrien Schmidt, Bouquet.ai
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7. Know your numbers
Some investors may have already researched your company and just want to dive deep into the numbers. Be prepared to answer any questions they may have about your numbers, and be flexible enough to change your presentation, depending on their interest. —Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
8. Visualize yourself nailing it
Research has shown that your brain reacts the same way, whether you are doing something in real life or visualizing it in your mind. By repeatedly visualizing yourself giving your pitch to a room full of investors, you are wiring the perfect delivery into your brain. This practice has a track record of success in high stakes situations—the Chicago Bulls used it to win six NBA championships! —Justin Faerman, Conscious Lifestyle Magazine
9. Time yourself
This is a tactic I was taught in school for giving presentations, but it definitely applies to this situation. Time yourself when practicing your presentation in order to figure out how long it takes to get your most important points across. Identify any areas that take too long to discuss and find ways to cut them down without losing clarity. Investors won’t like it if you waste their time. —Bryce Welker, Crush The PM Exam
10. Use podcasts and coworking spaces
The most important factor in preparing for an investor pitch is doing your due diligence. Not only will this allow you to weed out investors who wouldn’t be a right fit, but it will also make your pitch more compelling. Secondly, if you feel uncomfortable pitching yourself or speaking publicly, look for opportunities to practice. Podcasts and coworking spaces can be great places to practice. —Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.
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