What constitutes an attention-getting investor pitch? Simply put, it doesn’t sound like an investor pitch.
The problem with investor pitches is that there’s a highly effective, but endlessly repeated formula for crafting them:
- Who we are
- The problem
- What we do
- What we do better
- Where we’re going
- What we need to get there
It’s all highly relevant – and important information. But every investor has heard the same formula hundreds of times. And with each retelling, their interest wanes a bit more.
You may argue your idea is different, so it will cut through. Here’s the problem with that theory: the investor might not bother listening to your great idea if they feel they’re going down the same path again. So you may lose before you even get on the playing field!
A great formula from Elon Musk
- Define the evil enemy (Musk doesn’t spare the hyperbole here),
- State why we need to fight the enemy now (fight, not compete with),
- Describe the glory of victory,
- Identify obstacles of doom facing us,
- Tell us why we’ll overcome the obstacles, even though others have failed,
- Prove that the impossible is possible – hey, we’re doing it already!
It’s a great framework. And elevates the pitch to more of a battle cry, getting listeners to lean forward in their seats.
The only problem: it’s still a framework. And the problem with any framework, even a good one, is that it works fine with boring information. Even Musk’s formula can become mundane.
An attention-getting investor pitch starts as an attention-getting presentation
As part of my work, I help executives and entrepreneurs create presentations that are captivating.
Captivating is a tricky word. It sounds like an ethereal quality. Either you’ve got it or you don’t.
Yes, and no.
There are natural storytellers among us. But there are also steps you can follow to dial up the ‘C’ factor:
- Find the nugget of insight in the mine of data,
- Polish the nugget to make it a profound, human truth,
- Put the nugget in the hands of a famous speaker. How would they use it?
- Dare to dream.
Find the nugget of insight in the mine of data
In every presentation, there is one nugget that could inspire the imagination (sometimes more!) Usually it’s a passing remark on how a product could improve lives in a unique way, or an attention-getting detail in a company’s rise to greatness.
Jot down that nugget. It’s time to turn it into something great.
Polish the nugget
The problem with most of us is that we’re afraid to elevate the description of what we do to the level of an unbridled appeal that will save the world, remaining content describing our business in the safest, milquetoast terms.
It’s time to polish that nugget of insight, and elevate it to the level of a profound passionate truth. Investors are human, too. They love to be inspired by the occasional profound human truth, like the rest of us. If you can inspire them in a pitch meeting – probably the place they least expect it – you’ll set yourself apart from everyone else who is merely asking for money for a business idea.
How would a famous speaker use your nugget?
JFK, MLK, Churchill and Reagan were incredible pitchmen – definitely attention-getters.
Think of JFK’s moonshot speech. He didn’t lay out a bloodless plan for getting to the moon – that was for the leave behind document. Instead, he told us we were doing this not because it was easy, but because it was hard.
In a sentence, he encapsulated the human spirit, the honor of sacrifice, and the inevitability of success if we all pulled together. And it did it with information that might have been highly technical and beyond the grasp of the audience.
Could you turn your nugget into something that big and inspiring?
Dare to dream
Once we’ve unearthed the nugget, and demonstrated how it can reach the level of a profound, passionate human truth, we play with the idea. We push it higher up the mountain, past the base camp of tactics and midway camp of strategy, to the pinnacle of vision.
At this point, we sit back. We’ve crafted an idea that will have investors or audience members craning forward in their seats, and wondering what promised land you’re leading them to.