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3 Principles That Make or Break
Your Investor Pitch

Get some new ideas on how to present an investor pitch that charms investors and increases your chance of accessing venture capital.

Investor Pitch

If you’re an entrepreneur looking to secure venture capital for your ingenious business concept, market solution or invention, this post is going to help you pick up some new ideas on how to present an investor pitch that charms investors and increases your chance of accessing venture capital.

Today we’ll look at 3 principles that can make, or break, your investor pitch.

This blog post is best digested in 3 parts:

  1. Check the tips for your next investor pitch below.
  2. Watch the vlog (below).
  3. If you want to increase your charisma when pitching to investors, my High-Performance Communication Audit will uncover the proven speaking skills you need and give you a the impetus your career communication needs so that you can feel and sound more confident at work!
executive presence

When you’re the architect of a product, invention or business idea, your brain is more inclined to be absorbed in making your dream material, drawing on practical project-based thinking and problem-solving. But when it comes to selling your idea to the open market, venture capitalists and investors, securing funding needs to involve a clear switch from process thinking to captivate your funders with a memorable and alluring investor pitch that makes your business concept stand out from the crowd and meet the desire of the astute investor. And one of the most critical soft skills you need to invest in as an entrepreneur is your ability to pitch. 

As you probably know, most investor pitches take a clear structure that includes- 

  • Your business plan
  • A value proposition, description of the market, obstacles, milestones and current funding to date

As well as, 

  • Introducing yourself, your vision 
  • The percentage stake you request 
  • Negotiation scope

Perhaps you’ve dedicated countless hours to working on your investor pitch and are yet to see the funds roll in. If this is the case, I want to share 3 principles that may benefit your attempts to charm venture capitalists!

Let’s get into principle number 1.

#1 The way you speak when pitching will always predict the chance of investment

Dedicate as much time to preparing your spoken pitch as you do to your written 

pitch, and be intentional. 

Did you know that there is a lot of research into links between the style of language and interaction used by entrepreneurs and the degree to which their investor pitch will be successful?

I stay up to date with this information to ensure that I can provide the CEOs, entrepreneurs and founders with instruction relevant to positive pitch outcomes when we work together on how effectively they communicate their pitch. 

Pay attention to your communication style when pitching. 

Here are a few pointers to focus on:

  • Clear voice tone
  • Drop hesitations and fillers
  • Avoid rushes of speech- aim for a smooth and consistent pace
  • The vocabulary you use can make your message more persuasive- speakers that you use less neutral words 

It’s important to consider that your communication style is one of the best ways to showcase your interpersonal competencies, and your ability to achieve an elite presentation will immediately expand the likelihood of accessing investment opportunities. Studies have shown that the higher an entrepreneur scores for their presentation skills, the more attractive the investment opportunity will be to the venture capitalist (Polcz, K. 2021).

Investor Pitch

#2 Your language tone will shapes the success of your investor pitch.

When you deliver your investor pitch, I don’t need to tell you that many ingenious and lucrative business ideas are already circulating! I’m sure this keeps you up at night! 

As you know, many incredible ideas never move past the vision and receive funding; but it doesn’t always come down to the integrity of the business idea.

Instead, your capacity to “sell” your idea as a gainful option to investors will come down to how well you convey the dream and growth potential.

And this is where many entrepreneurs slip up! To make their concept, innovation or business solution tangible to investors, they can easily limit the imagination of the venture capitalist by using fixed and concrete language! 

Instead, you want to focus on using more abstract language.

How does abstract language help your investor pitch?

First, speakers that use abstract speech are perceived as more powerful (Mag4ee, Milliken & Lurie, 2010). 

And secondly, abstract language tends to convey increased growth capacity and scalability ({Huang, 2020 #144}), increasing the chance of investment astronomically.

How can you increase the use of abstract language while pitching to investors?

When you share your business vision in your investment pitch, intentionally anchor your message on the larger vision- where you see your business getting to over time, rather than just talking about the business you’re building now ({Bellstrom, 2017}). 

And if you’re a female entrepreneur, take care because research indicates that female investor pitches use less abstract language. 

So how can you increase abstract language in your pitch?

    1. Express end goals, 
    2. Decrease the time you spend talking about milestones achieved so that future casting is emphasised- this will be more likely to signal growth potential.
    3. Reduce how explanations will make you discuss what has happened, limiting your tone to concrete, past actions that you’ve already achieved. Instead, you want the venture capitalists to dream of the future of prosperous gain in the event they acquire dividends and a stake in your ingenious idea. Spend more time talking about why-based concepts behind your innovation because this will be more likely to increase visionary statements and rationales for why your business idea has a market value in the future. 

    There are many more ways you can improve the style, structure and tone of your investor pitch which I can assist you with in more detail via executive communication consultations.

    #3 How you look when you present directly correlates to funding success.

    Research has proven that your audience of investors will evaluate how trustworthy you appear based on your facial symmetry, and the more symmetrical your face, the higher the chance you’ll receive an investment pledge.

    “Trustworthy-looking entrepreneurs receive a 13.1% greater pledge amount and attract 4.8% more backers than those who are untrustworthy looking” as measured by AI facial symmetry analysis of 4 features:

    1. Inner eyebrow ridge angle
    2. Chin width
    3. Facial roundness
    4. Lip-to-nose distance (Kazemi and Sullivan, 2014; Sagonas et al., 2013 in (Duan, 2020)

      Don’t lose hope if you’re worried that your face doesn’t stack up in terms of symmetry. Some more visual factors are still in your control because your social ability as an entrepreneur is also observed by your gestures and even dress.  

      • Firstly, your visual delivery matters – a symmetrical and expansive posture increases competence ratings – invest time in building up your stage presence when presenting. In fact, the more expansive you appear, the more you’ll be perceived as dominant, attractive and passionate (Chen, Yao and Kotha 2009 in {Davila, 2021 #147}). Expansive posture and gestures will also amplify your “likelihood of acquiring resources (Keltner, Gruenfeld and Anderson, 2003 in {Davila, 2021 #147}). Investors are more likely to fund “high expansive entrepreneurs {Davila, 2021 #147}” so perhaps it’s time to pump iron at the gym, fix any wonky and compressed posture and learn some public speaking skills.

       

      • The colours you wear as well as the formality of your attire will also have an impact on your perceived credibility and competence (I share more about that in this video here)
      Investor Pitch

      When it comes to confidence, there’s always a huge gap between looking confident and actually feeling confident when you’re under pressure and pitching to investors can definitely drive up the performance pressure and risk of speaking glitches because the stakes and competition are so high.

      So how can you scale your communication confidence to deliver your investor pitch like an expert and secure greater potential for investor support?⁠⁠⁠⁠

      As you’ve learnt, the higher an entrepreneur scores for their presentation skills, the more attractive the investment opportunity will be to the venture capitalist (Polcz, K. 2021).

      elocution

      If you want to build your speaking presentation skills and competence pitching for venture capital, start by setting some concrete communication goals ⁠⁠that research suggests are the most important for entrepreneurial success.

      Our High-Performance Communication Audit does the heavy lifting for you.

      You can commence the process easily by heading to our website, purchasing & submitting your audit tasks via an ingenious virtual assessment. ⁠⁠⁠⁠

      Once that’s done, you’ll schedule a strategy feedback precise science-based insights into practical areas of your communication that you can optimise.⁠

      Sara Geiger

      References

      • Davila, T. and M. Guasch (2021). “Manager’s Body Expansiveness, Investor Perceptions, and Firm Forecast Errors and Valuation.” ERPN: Human Capital (Sub-Topic).
      • Duan, Y., et al. (2020). “Entrepreneurs’ facial trustworthiness, gender, and crowdfunding success.” Journal of Corporate Finance 64: 101693.
      • Huang, L., et al. (2020). “Sizing Up Entrepreneurial Potential: Gender Differences in Communication and Investor Perceptions of Long-Term Growth and Scalability.” Academy of Management Journal 64.
      • Moreau, C. (2018). Discursive Diversity in the Entrepreneurial Pitch: Creating and Communicating a Marketplace Space (CAMS) in the High-Stakes Reality TV Show Shark Tank.
      • Polcz, Károly (2021) Pitching as an Entrepreneurial Soft Skill in the World of Startups. GILE JOURNAL OF SKILLS DEVELOPMENT, 1 (2). pp. 5-6. ISSN 2732-3781
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      About the Author

      Sara Geiger is a Keynote Speaker, Executive Speaking Coach, and Opera Singer who likes to play with words, sounds, and your impact. 

      Her academic background is in Music Performance, Communication Science and Speech & Language Pathology. She’s currently completing a PhD in Opera Performance.

      Connect with Sara on LinkedIn.

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