Introduction to Pitching the Opportunity

Quick Summary: Focus on what investors want to hear, not what you want to say.


The articles in this chapter discuss how to begin to build a believable story about your business.  You will have to learn how to take your long-winded, detailed explanations about the vision of your business down to short bite-sized pieces; a task much easier said than done.  Slow down and change roles. Think like an investor, not the entrepreneur.

Make no mistake about it, you will be facing a significant uphill battle as you present to potential investors.  They are deluged with investment opportunities.  All of these opportunities are described by entrepreneurs that are just as passionate as you are and equally convinced that their opportunity is the best.  Investors invest in only a very small fraction of the opportunities presented to them.  As discussed in the articles in Volume Two, Chapter 2.02, Principle One: Stay in Business, investors are keenly aware of the fact that the odds of failure dramatically outweigh the odds of success for startups.  Be ready for their “jaundiced eye” view of your business. Prepare thoroughly and carefully.

Chapter Sections and Summaries

  1. Preparation

As in any contest, and seeking investments from investors is certainly a contest, preparation is essential.  You can bet others competing for funding are doing it too.

  1. The Pitch

Practice, practice, practice.  Focus on what you want your audience to hear and remember, and not necessarily on what you want to say.

  1. The Aftermath

The pitch is not over when you stop presenting.  Carefully think through what you said, how they reacted, and what you can do to follow up effectively.  Never “wait and see.” Do not give up communication or follow-up control.

Chapter Articles and Summaries

Introduction to Pitching the Opportunity


Focus on what investors want to hear, not what you want to say.

Elevator Pitches Should Work In Two Story Buildings


Be concise to be memorable. Investors are busy and memories are short.

Design Before You Build


Clearly define the desired end message before you start creating your investor pitch slides.

No Competition?  Really?


If you believe you have no competition, there probably is no market.

Don't Have Your First Meeting


Be more than skin deep; be ready to provide detailed data to potential investors quickly.

Consistency Through FAQs


Document answers to common questions to provide across the board consistency.

Getting To NO Before Getting To KNOW


People naturally eliminate the bad before focusing on the good.

One Goal For Your First Investor Meeting


Nothing happens until investors get excited about a potential investment opportunity.

Passion: The Fuel for your Business Engine


Be passionate, not emotional, to show you can make logical business decisions.

Focus on What You Provide


Focus on what you do for the customer and what it means to them, not how you do it.

The Biggest Word I Know Is Delicatessen


Use term-of art-words and abbreviations only when absolutely necessary.

When And What To Say


Saying too many things may communicate nothing. Less is more.

Why You Will Win


What makes you think a competitor will not or cannot close the gap between you and them.

Don’t Have All The Answers, Even If You Do


Some people ask questions to show you what they know or to try to trick you.

Be Ready For Left Field Questions


Expect unexpected questions and do not get flustered; it’s all about handling pressure.

Hand Waving: A Smile or a Frown


Investors are interested in specific, verifiable facts, not generalizations.

First Mover Advantage: For Who


Being first also means being the first to make mistakes.

It's Old Hat to You


Enthusiasm. Professionalism. Persistence.

How Did You Do? An Investor Quiz


Pretend you are the investor and ask yourself a series of questions that they might ask.

Don't Share Your Presentation


Presentation slides without narration can lead to erroneous conclusions.

Why Did They Say No?


Ask for candid feedback if investors say no to you, do not argue or defend.

What If They Say Yes?


Follow the Boy Scout Motto: “Be Prepared” for the next investor meeting the next morning.

The Term Sheet: The Beginning Not the End


A term sheet is like the beginning of a wedding engagement with many issues to discuss.

Article Number : 3.030101   

A Handy Reference Guide for Executives and Managers at All Levels.

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