How to impress investors Investors want to know about your product, your business plan, your goals and the timing of those, but also you and your partners. It is important that you and your partners present yourself as professional, but people that have the ability to socialize. As a professional I myself have realized that a lot of the time people are more willing to give you a chance if they like you, regardless of your product. That is not a guarantee that they’ll invest, but if they like you, you have a much better chance of leaving that room of investors a happier person. Your pitch should be straight forward. You must avoid trying to convince the investors that their investment is logical through your words, and do it through yourself and your product. Do not bore them. There is no need to talk for two minutes about data that they’ll forget. It’s much better to have pamphlets ready; feel free to include graphs, data charts and even side commentary. Regardless of how many pamphlets you may have, you must talk as well. Starting off with some casual talk is good. If the investors feel like you are genuine person, they’ll listen. If you start off with a bad impression, they’ll be thinking more about their upcoming meal than your pitch. After you’ve established your genuineness, recreate your persona into one of a professional. It is very difficult, but you must speak to both the smartest and most dumb person in the room at the same time; make it understandable. Avoid terminology that they might not understand. It is okay to relate advanced concepts to football; it works and it’s easy. (Feel free to pick another sport or anything else that is commonly well known by the majority.) The start of your pitch is the most important. As I’ve said already, you need to establish a connection with the investors. You need to show how you and your partners are professional, and then you need to introduce the core concepts of your product so it can be easily understood throughout your pitch. If you get the beginning of the meeting wrong, you can always recover; but your chances of success are lowered. If an investor doesn’t understand, answer calmly and make sure you take another approach. If they didn’t get it the first time, you don’t want to just repeat the same prepared speech - The specific investor may not learn (again), and the other investors may wonder whether you are truly passionate and know your product or if you are simply speaking from memory. Once you have pitched your product, it is time to gage the room. Have you “bought” the majority of the room? Do they have questions? These things are important. You do not want to skip straight to the financial part of your pitch. If possible do not even speak about specific cash amounts until you are confident each investor understands you and your product and is intrigued by it. This is not always possible though. If an investor is not interested whatsoever, it may be worth it to ask them why - However, they may offer up some really good insight and drive other investors away from you as well. Thus, it is dangerous. If you have completed this phase then it may be wise to start slowing down your process. You want everyone to start processing information as slowly as possible as even a low figure number can appear big if it comes flying at the investors (I’m talking about a financial goal for fundraising). When you do talk about financials you want to not only include your “wish”, but also what is completely necessary. Do not lie, or make this figure larger. You should tell them the extreme minimum amount that you need for your product to truly launch (or continue). After this number though you should pitch a higher amount based on what you will need for the future, expansion and maximum returns for the company and the investors. You will find that some will go for the larger number, as they value a long-term commitment. Others may only invest in what you truly need for right now and some won’t invest at all. Respect their decision. It is okay to reiterate your expansion goals (to raise more), but don’t drive them away by being too pushy. At the end of your pitch you should show your gratitude for not only their investments, but their time. Make an effort to go to the ones that chose NOT to invest first. Thank them for coming and listening and offer to speak with them at anytime if they have any questions or comments. This will give you more time for the real-time investors and improve your ‘reputation’ in the business world - You’ll continue your genuineness and maybe you’ll win some friends. You’ll need them!