Mistakes to avoid when pitching to an investor.
1. Poorly structured pitch
No thought about what makes a strong pitch – people seem to think that just because they understand and believe in the business idea, everyone else will also – it doesn’t work like that. You need to really understand what makes a strong pitch – do your homework!
2. Use of complex jargon
Using complicated language does not make you look smart it just confuses the investor.
3. No research
Not having researched the profile of each Dragon/investor. It is vital that you know who the investors are and their possible interests/conflicts.
Stop thinking about yourself and start thinking about the investors – why should they invest?
4. Poor preparation for question time
Not thinking about the answers to “nasty questions” investors may ask. You then become frustrated and confused. Do your homework!
5. Not rehearsing
If you haven’t rehearsed aloud, how do you expect to sound confident and relaxed?
6. Speaking too quickly
Having spent no time rehearsing , you get nervous and speak too quickly, this confuses and lacks confidence.
With a poorly structured pitch, you pack the business “life story” into the pitch – which just confuses even more!
7. Personal Impact
Poor entrance and weak body language screams lack of confidence. Decisions are made in the first 15 seconds about you.
8. Becoming Defensive
When things aren’t going your way, and investors aren’t biting you become defensive – remember it’s not personal it’s just business.
9. Poor use of props
Awkward, gimmicky props don’t enhance, they annoy. If you are using a prop make sure it adds to your pitch and doesn’t confuse and that you have practiced and know that it will work well.
10. Being a Dreamer
Unrealistic sales/profit projections – nothing annoys investors more than idealistic, improbable projections! Do your homework and be honest.