All About PowerPoint, Presentations & Life
There is no entrepreneurial success story without a well-devised pitch. But pitching your idea to potential investors is nothing short of a whirlwind full of cold emails, meeting after meeting after meeting, and the occasional (and ostensible) no as well. After all, fundraising with pitch decks has been and always will be a challenge that every entrepreneur and growing business faces.
However, if companies thought pitching is an uphill battle, they were certainly not ready for what the coronavirus disease could do to the business world at large. And yes. It did a lot. Rather it changed a lot. It brought world economies to their knees, confined us to our homes, and merged our office cubicle with our living room. While the race to find a cure for the disease is still on, the challenges for the global enterprises only seem to mount. And pitching to investors to raise capital is also one of those challenges that the new normal has brought to the table.
Besides uncertainty in the market, entrepreneurs looking to fund their ideas have questions galore. How will pitching remotely work? Will it be any different from physical meetings? Are investors even willing to consider giving their money to a person talking through a webcam? Can a pitch deck presentation over a Zoom meeting be convincing enough to bring an idea to fruition?
But who is to say there is no way out? Hope has manifested itself in the form of company deals and transactions that are making headlines. Take the recent $2 billion raised by leading American private equity firm Symphony Technology Group. The highlight of the four-month long fundraising process was not that it exceeded its $1.5 billion target, but the fact that the entire event was organized in completely virtual conference rooms by the enterprise technology investor. What a remarkable way of adapting to the new normal, isn’t it?
It wouldn’t be hard to take a cue from such developments that investors are in fact looking to pump money into ventures without the need to be there in person for striking the deal. But since quite a lot rested on the loyalty of investors and financial institutions for STG to raise such kind of money, it goes without saying that investor sentiment leaves much room for entrepreneurs to strike a chord with a lucrative idea.
So if you have got that money maker in your mind (and also on your slides), it is time to adjust the webcam and get started with making a convincing point before potential investors. But before you do that, take a look at our 10-point guide that will make remote pitching a breeze. This blog has also got you covered with some of our finest pitch deck templates. Read on.
#1 Prepare with precision
Since you are not going to meet the investor face to face, there is even more at stake when you have to make a good first impression. But in order to that, you must have the prerequisites in place. For example, if you have started off with a thousand cold calls and emails, make sure you have devised a plan to impress the investors that actually are giving you the 20 minutes of their precious time. If you are going for a bigger (and more popular) fish, make sure you have done your research about their past funding participation. What worked for them? What they care about? Matters a lot! And every ounce of due diligence that you put into it will pave the way for an impressive pitch.
#2 Schedule the presentation
If there’s one that has allowed us to keep ourselves together, that is technology. So why not use it to your advantage? Time is your biggest asset and the investors’ most precious commodity. So make sure you have conveyed the scheduled to each attendee well in advance. You can email Zoom meeting links and then alert the attendees a day before to attend it. Communicating timely helps set the groundwork for your investor pitch. You should also send the investors the pitch deck slides beforehand. So when that Zoom meeting goes on, make sure you can guide the investors through the slides if there is a power cut or a technical interruption.
#3 Structure matters
A lot in a winning investor pitch depends on the right structure. You cannot just slap on text after text on the slides and expect the investor to get it. How else do you make sure you capture the eye of large venture capital firms and other financial institutions? As such, following the basic three-step structure works:
- The attention grabbers: Executive summary, Problem statement, Solution
- The hooks: Business model, Market opportunities, Competitor analysis, Team
- The money makers: Fundraising and financials, Future projections
The three-step structure will help you get it right. For startups looking for early-stage funding, putting the idea properly on the slide is the biggest challenge (which is why #1 is important). The idea you are putting out over a remote presentation has to focus on the meat of the deal. But at the same time, grabbing the audience’s attention will help you get to the goal easily. And #4 ahead will help with that.
#4 Tie it all up with a story
You have given your investor pitch a structure. But what will really set wheels in motion is a common thread of a story that your startup or company is trying to script. With effective storytelling, you can make a lasting impression. After all, there is no way someone is going to remember bullet point 5 of your slide number 8. They will instead remember the story of how your friend’s lasagna recipe made you think of a good food ordering app. Bottom line, story gives a more believable and trustworthy outlook to your investor pitch. And this storytelling is what takes an idea from brilliant in mind to profitable on paper. A pro tip — you can try to buildup the story while formulating and discussing the attention grabber slides. Once hooked, the investors will automatically be drawn towards pressing that “invest” button going through the next slides.
#5 Allocate time for each slide
In a remotely-presented investor pitch, you have a lot to factor in. Besides the lack of in-person interaction, you also have to focus on how to address the investor attention and interests. According to a study by DocSend, a tech venture providing safe sharing of legal documents, investors spend an average of 3 minutes 44 seconds analyzing the pitch decks. This attention metric becomes even trickier when the investor pitch is running on an online app over the webcam. A pro tip, try to allocate more time to the money maker slides. If you have got some prominent people behind the wheel, give a better chunk of the time to the team slide too. No need to write it on a sticky note by your laptop. Make it effortless.
#6 Data charts are your friend
This comes as an extension to #5. When you know what investors want to look at the most, you can plan your pitch accordingly. And since a picture or infographic is worth a thousand words, they belong on those money maker slides. Intuitively, sharing the infographic for download can serve as a good take-away from the remotely-presented investor pitch. As such you will want to show progression in the slides containing these money makers. But if you have to show risks involved in scaling, just make a quick reference to it. The more investors know about the profitable aspects of the project, the more inclined they are to give you the funds you need.
#7 When you stumble
Remote presentations come with their fair share of pitfalls. So whenever you have any technical glitch or lag, make sure you have a backup plan ready. This is where sending the presentation beforehand comes in handy. The key is to handle it gracefully to make a good impression. A remotely-presented investor pitch is a challenge in itself. There is no doubt about that. But when things go south, make sure you have effective communication with the investors about the next step. It could be a request to follow along the presentation offline over an online call or communicating about the feasibility of rescheduling. To avoid any blunder, it will bode well for you to keep doing a quick check if the attendees are facing any issue viewing the presentation.
#8 Conclude with substance
When you have started with something that piques the investor interest, a remarkable conclusion is a must. By the end of your remotely-presented investor pitch, you have elicited responses like “Good”, “OK” or deafening silence. But that should not stop you from giving the investors a good set of takeaway points. Of course, the future projection slide covers it well. But make sure you have given them a brief wrap including the points from the most influential slide. This reaffirms the investor confidence and helps them remember why they have picked you out of the lot. Do not forget to include your contact details on the conclusion slide. Also you can inform the investors that you have emailed them these details (of course ensuring that you actually did).
#9 Follow-up is a must
You have given the investors something worth remembering over the webcam. But what about going the extra mile? Yes. This is where sharing and emailing your contact details pays off. Once the meeting is over make sure you wait a little before you approach the investor to know what they thought of the idea. Better yet, you can progress a lot with genuine feedback, given that the investor is up for it. Alternatively, you could also choose to record the video meeting for self-appraisal on various points in the remotely-presented investor pitch. Each nod you see is a step towards success. Taking notes will help you improve greatly.
#10 Failure isn’t fatal
It never is. In fact, it is much more than the “not interested” or “not yet” that you hear from the investor over the call or email. The DocSend report cited earlier in this blog states that it takes startups an average of 40 investor meetings to get any kind of funding. And with the current situation where in-person appeal has been taken over by on-camera conviction, the ability to take challenges head-on goes a long way. So whether you are an entrepreneur looking to kickstart your online gaming company or a multinational looking to expand your global operations, know the art of hearing “no”, webcam or not. Rather when you hear it, your next move should instantly be to show your urge to learn. And in learning lies success. So stay ready to click the “schedule next meeting” button and off you go.
Try some of our finest templates for your next investor pitch
Good design is good investment. And a well-designed investor pitch is a brilliant one. Though you have to tell your own story, a meticulous pitch deck design communicating your brand can make a lasting impression. So for good measure, here are some of our catchiest investor pitch deck templates that you can use to strike a chunky deal. Browse through these and download the ones you like.
Need to keep your story simple and effortless? Use this template to guide your investors through your ideas effortlessly. The simple design makes it easy to comprehend while keeping the focus on the important points. You can align the slides with your brand and share the file with the investors to have a look at. The file is also compatible with all the major virtual conference meeting platforms so your remotely-presented investor pitch will check all the boxes.
Grab this trendy design for an investor pitch deck specially crafted for startups and budding companies. With a thematic appeal to it, this template will let you nail a good pitch over an online setup. In fact, this template will work just as good for an in-person presentation (if there is one). Pick this template to align your remotely-presented investor pitch with your branding needs. The slides have a flow to them that will make it easy to grasp.
Here’s another one that can let you explain your vision and mission to the venture capitalists in a remote presentation. Use this template designed especially for startups to describe your goals and means. You can use the fully-editable data charts in the later slides to make a winning point. Describe as much as you want, or keep it short and simple. Just download, present and watch the money coming in.
A startup cannot just rely on a single stream of funds to grow. When budding companies need more funding, they have to pitch to investors and institutions that provide alternative source of working capital. Use this template to pitch to these investors remotely and persuade them with avenues of equity funding and alternative capital in your company.
Money is crucial for company growth. Raise capital with ease using this investor pitch deck template in your remote presentation. The consistent and vibrant theme is bound to capture your audience’s attention. The fully-editable template also puts focus on the “money maker” point of your presentation. You can present competitor analysis and market share in a creative way. You can manipulate the charts and icons as suited to your needs.
As daunting as a remote investor pitch is, companies and individuals can use the mentioned techniques and tips to create a strong foundation. Nonetheless, persuasion and storytelling will be the ultimate tools for acing a funding round. So pitch your idea with confidence and bring your efforts to fruition.
Need a strong pitch deck but designing got you running around? Do not worry! Get in touch with our design team and secure any funding round you want.