Tag Archives: presentation skills

Mistakes to avoid when pitching to Investors

Business Presentation

All entrepreneurs need to pitch to investors to raise cash and financing, however many of them lack presentations skills or experience. Listed below are some of the most common mistakes to avoid when pitching your idea to venture capitalists and angel investors.

  • Never send a business plan or executive summary unless requested to do so.
  • Make sure that you pitch an idea to an investor that they are interested in.
  • Be sure to have a short and to the point business plan for the investor to review.
  • In any presentation you need to show evidence that there is an opportunity in the market and it is a big one.
  • If you come with a team to present an idea, make sure they all have something to say.
  • Never tell an investor that there is no competition in the marketplace.
  • Make sure your projections are realistic and interesting.
  • Don’t expect an investor to sign a non-disclosure agreement prior to hearing your idea.
  • Answer any and all questions of the investor in a clear and precise manner.
  • Be sure to offer realistic projections and expectations.
  • Avoid using clichés.
  • Always highlight your team’s credentials and experience.
  • Always try to sell your intellectual property to the investor.
  • Always give a demo of your product.
  • Take the time to analyze and check other pitches and executive summaries to improve your own.
  • Make sure that when you pitch an idea you talk about the market problems you plan to improve upon or solve.
  • Make sure you study and understand the customers needs and wants; especially the long-term value of the customer.
  • You need to explain exactly how you will be applying the investment capital and how long it will last.
  • Always be realistic about the risks involved in your business and idea.
  • You must always be able to explain in details the key assumptions in your plans and projections.
  • Never skip on the details.
  • Make sure you do a background check on your investors portfolio and see what his/her interests are.
  • Make sure you explain and make clear how your product, service, or technology is differentiated from other competitors.
  • Never have more that 15-20 PowerPoint slides.
  • You must have a clear, precise and coherent marketing strategy.
  • Make certain that you convey to the potential investor what market buzz you have already received and what traction or customers you have already acquired.
  • Make sure you explain in details all aspects of the product or service in a clear and coherent way.

Some of the above mistakes are not always fatal. The more you pitch your idea to investors the better your presentation and pitch will become. With experience you will learn what investors are looking for and are about. Always adapt your pitch, PowerPoint presentation, and executive summary.


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Keybase is 19 years old, and Cheryl Oelofse, one of the founding members, still runs the Benoni Branch.  They also have a branch in Pretoria, but also offer on-site training nationwide.  Courses can also be customised to suit your needs, or you can attend a public short course.

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