Think Like a Scientist but Talk the Language of the Angels!

By Robert Hersowitz, Partner and Owner of Management Development International (MDI)
So why do so many good start-ups fail? A great deal has to do with the way entrepreneurs pitch their projects to potential investors or “Angels”.

jbnf angel investor

Here are ten tips for how to pitch to an audience of “Angels”:

  1. Do your homework.
    Research your potential audience and prepare your pitch so that it appeals to a wide range of influencing styles e.g. Pragmatists, Conceptualists, Analysts and Entrepreneurs.
  2. Where possible get to site early so that you can “press the flesh”, shake hands and get to meet some of the Angels .
  3. Always start at the end and end at the start (tell ’em, sell ‘em and tell ‘em again).
    “At the end of thispresentation you will have gained a clear and in-depth understanding of how this medical device will revolutionize the treatment of prostate cancer at a fraction of the cost of current technologies.”
  4. Begin with an attention getting device such as an anecdote, notable statistic or quote from an impressive source with which the audience can identify.
  5. Abide by the KISS principle – Keep It Simple and Succinct.
    Where possible use an agenda and explain what you will be covering and how long each segment will take – then stick to it!
    This keeps people focused and motivated to pay attention.
    Keep the back story short and mention the product as early as possible. Avoid long-winded technical explanations.
  6. Bring, show and demonstrate prototypes – keep your audience engaged as much as possible.
  7. Anticipate difficult questions and prepare responses for: Dr. Know-it-All, Mr. Cynic, Dr. Attention Seeker, and Ms. Interrupter.
  8. Do not engage in Attacking or Defending Behaviour (if attacked). Argue factually and keep your cool. Avoid apologising and self-deprecating behaviour.
  9. Watch your Body Language. Avoid fidgeting and give-away signs of nervousness such as scratching, covering your mouth when you speak. Project your voice, pause and intonate.
  10. End on an affirmative memorable note so that the audience is left impressed.

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