Your research is done. Your deck is ready. Your business is poised. Now all you need to do stand in front of the investors and make the pitch.
So, make sure you…
Nerves are normal, even healthy. Nerves can create energy and help you get your message and passion across. But uncontrolled nerves are deadly. So breathe. It sound so simple, but it the first thing we stop doing when we are nervous. Besides being generally good for you, breathing is the key to controlling nerves. Standing in front of important and influential investors is not the time to limit the oxygen to your brain. Take long, slow, deep breaths. This will help you control your heart rate and by extension, your nerves
Another tip for controlling nerves is to focus on the investors. Often when we are making a presentation or trying to persuade someone, we stay in our own heads. We think ‘I hope they decide to fund’ instead of ‘I can’t wait for them to hear about my company’. Get out of your head and into theirs. Now instead of nerves, you will show passion, focus and connection.
8. PACE YOURSELF
The single biggest presentation mistake entrepreneurs make in a pitch, is spending too much time on the product and not enough time on the company. When you are practicing, practice your pacing. Make sure you are spending more time on your team, financials and growth strategy and leave time for Q & A. Nerves on the day will eat into your time, so practice your pace and plan to finish early.
9. SPEAK UP
You may be lucky enough to pitch to a couple of folks in a conference room, but you will probably stand in a lecture hall or auditorium in front of an entire angel network . Prepare to present anywhere, at any time by gauging how much you will need to speak up to be heard clearly. If you lose your place, don’t mumble. Just take a breath and move on. Your voice helps you tell your story, but only if they hear it.
10. LET YOUR SLIDES DO THE TALKING
Hopefully you have spent the time and money to put together a smart, clean, brief deck. If not, call the folks at InvestorPitches.com for some help. But now that you have the slides, don’t read them. This is not kindergarten. It’s ok, they can read. Don’t waste precious time repeating what they have read. Instead, use your deck simply as a tool to tell your story.
Now go forth and get funded and let me know how it goes.