As the owner of a SME or any business, you would have to conduct investment pitches and persuade other investors to support and believe in your idea. An investment pitch is the first official introduction of your company to your investors. It is essential that you are able to pitch your idea confidently!
1 Have a clear idea of your thoughts
Despite it being your own company, there might be updates in some departments that you are unaware of. Thus, it is important that you keep up with the latest updates on what each team is doing, including statistics, data and the development of the various projects. You should know all the content and information such that you have them at your fingertips before the presentation. It is best to establish your thoughts as early as you can!
Rehearse your pitch over and over again before the presentation to get comfortable with the content and presentation format of your pitch. The last thing you would want would be to fumble over your words during your presentation. Ensure all your data is updated as well, and that you are confident in sharing any other possible technical information. Knowing your company is one of the first steps you can take towards a more persuasive presentation as it shows you are genuinely approaching them for an investment in the interest of your company.
3 Be aware of your audience
Among the audience you are pitching to might sit an acquaintance you know of already or a complete stranger. Regardless of who is in attendance, ensure you are dressed smartly enough and that you are carrying yourself professionally. Particular words and terms are very important, even if it is someone you already know, it does not mean you should be less formal - especially not when this could concern mega investments in your company!
4 Pitch deck design
Ensure your pitch deck aligns with your company’s branding and theme but also your audience! You would not want your audience to get bored looking at your white slides with black words and no attention grabbing details. A little pro-tip we’ve tried before would be to include statistics in the form of coloured pie-charts or bar graphs instead of a table for better representation of your data and also make it less wordy for your audience. Include only the main points and elaborate during your presentation, do not put your whole pitch on the slides and just read off!
5 Audience engagement
Try to pace yourself and avoid presenting your ideas too quickly, you might know your company well but your investors might be completely foreign to your idea. Take the time to explain complex information into bite-sized chunks of data but do not lose their attention. A pro-tip would be to ensure you maintain good eye contact and posture while asking rhetorical questions to gauge the response of your audience. If you sense the audience is losing interest, you might want to gain their attention again by wowing them with a fact such as the amount of profit you have made over the past year!
Pro-tip for online pitches
With working from home being the new normal, SME owners should also get used to online pitches. Some tips for online pitches would be to ensure that you only share what you wish to on the screen and to remember that presenting from the comforts of your home might make the atmosphere more comfortable but you should still remain professional! Ensure that your background is either a virtual background or a professional one at your desk and you have a stable internet connection. Don't forget to be appropriately dressed (at least for what your audience can see)!
Overall, pitching comes naturally to those who practise hard and put in effort into their content. In the beginning, pitching might seem daunting considering the amount of investment you could likely be receiving. However, you should always remember to be confident of your idea and put on a smile. Even if the pitch does not end up successful, trying your best is what matters!