As I’ve said before, the most important part of your pitch is knowing the ins and outs of your company and the industry playing field by heart, but just as it’s important to be able to rattle off the numbers that explain your company, it’s also important to connect with potential investors on a very real level. You should be a ready to present the facts and figures of your company. You should know them by heart, but you should also be ready to describe the human side of your enterprise. If it comes down to two small enterprises that have similar monetary potential, sometimes what matters is the passion of the presentation.
Whether or not it’s admitted, investors are devoting more than capital to the young enterprises they finance. They are investing in the potential of the entrepreneurs and the rewards they receive from this aren’t always financial. It’s because of this complexity that entrepreneurs who plan on pitching to investors need to tell a story that shows off their own passions and past accomplishments.
It’s important to understand the difference between really telling us who you are and simply providing a bulleted list of previous endeavors. While it shouldn’t be the bulk of your presentation, begin with a narrative of your enterprise, how you met your co-founder and why you became excited about the venture.
Describing the beginnings of your business, and making it personal can have more effect than simply rattling off numbers. Often these emotional presentations can help an already great pitch stick in an investor’s mind. Investors tend to remember the presentations that excite them or touch them on an emotional level. And while an emotive pitch isn’t going to be enough on its own, as an entrepreneur, wouldn’t you take any leg up you can get?
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t provide a history of past victories. Investors want to know exactly why you’re qualified and why they should entrust their capital in your young business. Many entrepreneurs find that when they try to describe their previous feats it can come across as cocky or brash, that’s why it’s always better to have your cofounder handle your introduction. It can lend an air of humility, allow you to brag all you want and you won’t come across as a braggart.
Every investment has elements of the rational and irrational. Facts and figures may satisfy the rational side, but not every aspect of business is about the numbers. There have been scores of entrepreneurs throughout history that were able to raise funding and support because they truly believed in their ideas. While it’s true that it is crucially important that you know the cold hard facts like customer acquisition cost and churn rate, it’s also important that you have a genuine passion for your company and a demeanor that exudes confidence, transparency and excitement.