Perhaps one of the nerve wracking presentations one has to give is to pitch a business idea to potential investors or VC’s. Because of this presentation anxiety, many mistakes are committed in the process.
No matter how grandeur your ideas seem, they can all go down the drain after a bad presentation. Below, seasoned investors share top 4 blunders often made when pitching business ideas:
1) Poor PowerPoint presentation planning
It’s not uncommon for first time entrepreneurs to cramp everything into 45 minutes or 45 slides, outlining all the details or features they want to capture. Some even include entire financial statements in the presentation. On the contrary, your pitch deck should be brief and concise. Leave the rest of the minute details for discussion once the topic is raised.
You should also design your presentation to fit the background of your potential investors. A presentation for businessmen who are more interested in ROI’s will look a bit different from presentations done for IT venture capitalists who are more interested in the technology.
2) Making the presentation entirely one way street
Some first timers pitching a business plan tend to make the presentation a monologue than a discussion. Hence, you would only present the good things, try to dodge or undermine any weaknesses or threats. Problem is, the experienced investor already knows all the good stuff. As a result, the doubts they initially have are left unanswered and then they leave the room unconvinced.
Turn the presentation into a meeting by taking initiatives to also ask questions to your investors about the fund. This can speak of your confidence and awareness.
3) Trying too hard to give a good impression
There’s a difference between trying hard and trying “too hard” to impress your audience. For example, many financial plans are designed to appeal to the investor but aren’t really something that the entrepreneurs believe in.
Some also answer another question, instead of the direct question being asked in an attempt to evade or give a “positive” response. However, instead of encouraging the VC, this will only raise doubts against your credibility, candidness, and level of knowledge.
4) Exaggerated data
Related to mistake #3 is overstating your information. This includes poor assessment of risks and competitions and bloating your strengths and growth projections. Remember that for an investor, how you will get to the final outcome or your plan is more important than simply stating what you intend to do or accomplish.
A realistic set of information not only benefits the investor but also benefits you; by presenting more realistic data, your investor can better understand how they can really help you in case they decide to invest.
What other typical mistakes do you know of that should be avoided when pitching business ideas? Let us know through your comments below.