Delivering a compelling pitch is Step 0 in building your company. Whether you are pitching to a customer, an investor or a potential hire, you need to sell your vision with clarity, passion and conviction. Make sure you use images, statistics and humor to win over your audience.
Listed below are the 10 basic slides you must have when pitching to an investor:
Explain what you do. Your “Elevator Pitch” should be succinct and powerful. This is where you get their attention or lose it.
PROBLEM / OPPORTUNITY
Explain the problem you solve. Hopefully your product or service is a pain killer, not a vitamin. List statistics that support the opportunity.
Explain how you are going to solve the problem in a unique way. How is your solution better? What is your unfair advantage?
Describe why your team is qualified. What have they done in the past that makes them credible? Remember: investors invest in people, not companies. List your advisory board members here.
How big is your addressable market? Don’t make the mistake of listing a widely published industry statistic as your addressable market. Conduct a bottom up analysis of your market. If you sell software to health clubs, list how many health clubs exist. List the dollar value that number represents.
List your competitors. Explain why you are better. Never list that you do not have competition. If your product or service is a novel idea, you will want to list alternatives to your offering. If you are building the first personal commuter helicopter that fits in a garage, your competition would be cars and other commuter airplanes
REVENUE MODEL / FINANCE
Remember: investors are investing for a return. You need to convince them that you are going to make money and deliver a healthy return. Show your assumptions. Make sure they are well researched and believable. Again, a bottom up analysis will deliver a clear picture of your prospects and aid you in building your company.
PRESS / TESTIMONIALS
What are others saying about you? If you don’t have press, ask your customers and experts to provide quotes on how well they like your product or service.
List paying customers and those that are in the pipeline. Show that you have identified future prospects and explain how you are taking steps to win their business.
How much capital do you need? How will you use it? This is where a well-detailed financial model will help you be clear in your milestones. Don’t forget to add a small amount for reserves.
Now that you have developed the content, you will need to get ready to present it. Treat your presentation as a performance and your audience as the guests.
A few tips on getting people to believe in your idea:
Connect: Research your audience and relate to their interests.
Research: Know your industry inside and out.
Be likable: Smile. Make eye contact.
Practice, practice, practice
You should know your story so well that you do not need to look at your slides. When raising capital, you never know when you will meet a prospective investor. Always be prepared to sell your vision.
This post originally appeared on Atelier Advisors. Lili Balfour is the founder and CEO of the SoMa-based financial advisory firm, Atelier Advisors, creator of Lean Finance for Startups and Finance Boot Camp for Entrepreneurs. All AlleyWatch readers are automatically eligible for a 50% discount on either of the courses using the preceding links.
Image credit: CC by Thomas Rousing