Seasoned social entrepreneurs across the world make investment pitches daily. They know their products and business models inside out and the best will be confident enough to always deliver that perfect pitch.
But, there’s a first time for everything, and if you’re about to make your first investment pitch, you may be feeling nervous and unprepared.
Although you may have researched ways to nail that first pitch, here are five things not to do during your first investment pitch.
1. Don’t overwhelm with too much information
Depending on the length of your pitch, it’s important to make sure you’re not trying to squeeze too much content into your time under the spotlight.
If you’re using slides, try not to display too much text – focus instead on visuals and, whatever you do, don’t copy and paste your script onto the presentation. Keep it snappy with simple, easy-to-read bullet points that can be quickly glanced at by your audience.
Remember, the focus of their attention needs to be on you.
2. Don’t overcomplicate the pitch
Your investors might not necessarily understand industry jargon or technical terms – particularly if your social enterprise operates in a highly technical field. At this stage, they only need the high-level stuff; anything more detailed than that (unless they ask for it), and you’ll either bore them out of the room or come across as being condescending.
However, simplifying the pitch too much might result in it lacking professionalism or passion, so make sure you spend plenty of time getting the balance right.
3. Don’t forget why you’re there
It can be easy for nerves and pressure to get to you on occasions like this. To quell those nerves, keep it in mind that you’re pitching this idea because you believe in your social enterprise’s cause.
Reminding yourself of how much passion you have for your business idea should help you remain grounded and dedicated to delivering that perfect pitch.
4. Don’t adopt a ‘sales’ personality
Whatever you do, don’t come across as too ‘salesy’. You’re selling both yourself and the social enterprise, of course, but it’s important to focus on simply being yourself.
You want to excite potential investors and attract those who invest in people as much as they do businesses, but not come across as desperate, or overly confident with clichéd sales techniques.
5. Be prepared for question time
Once your pitch has ended you’ll inevitably be hit with a raft of questions. If you’ve seen Dragon’s Den, you’ll know how important it is to have the relevant stats and financial figures on the tip of your tongue, along with a solid understanding of the market and your social enterprise’s competitors.
You should also be prepared to address concerns in a professional manner. Being too defensive of your business model, or not having relevant solutions to any queries might put a dampener on an otherwise successful pitch.
When seeking investment as a social entrepreneur, the key thing is to be focused on wowing your audience and getting across all of the key points that make your social enterprise special.
Taking note of the above tips should help you nail that first investment pitch – don’t leave home without them!