Well, it finally happened – we gave our first investor pitch (judges, investors… they feel the same). This was single-handedly the most important public speaking event I have ever taken part in and it was a big step forward for Ucraft Brew. Now we just sit tight and hope we win the $50,000, right? Not quite.
“people may or may not buy into your business, but they’ll definitely buy into you”
I believe with an investor pitch, or any speaking event, it’s important to go through afterwards and identify what areas could have been improved upon. This is especially important for entrepreneurs, because there will likely be more investor pitches to give down the road. If there were any mistakes made or areas you might have felt a bit shaky, it’s important to bring it out in the open and address it. We are very fortunate in the sense that we were recorded giving our pitch for Ucraft Brew. As soon as we get access to the video, it will be important for our group to sit down together and assess what we could have done better. This will be crucial as there is another pitch right around the corner from this one for the Nevada Governor’s Cup.
Once we go through this video, we will inevitably find something that could have been improved on (too many ums or uhs, better engagement with our hands, etc), but that’s okay. The important part is to continually keep improving and refining the pitch, so that each time it’s better than the last. With time, we’ll get the pitch down to a point where it feels as natural as regular conversation.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in researching how to give a good pitch, it’s that everyone has an opinion. There are literally thousands of articles on this very topic on Google. While many of these have some great tips and themes that are similar throughout, many others are pretty vague and a bit obvious. One bit of advice that I could give just based on today’s performance is this: make the presentation your own and don’t be afraid to let your personality come out.
As a mentor once told me “people may or may not buy into your business, but they’ll definitely buy into you”. The main way we relate to a business is through the people we relate to. If your business pitch feels like a combination of a bunch of Google articles on business pitches strewn together, that personality is never going to come through and investors will be far less likely to relate to the business as a whole. They want to see someone who is passionate about what they’re doing, and one who is going to have more vested into it than anyone else. This is someone they can rely on.
It’s something I know I still need to work on. Nerves will undoubtedly have come into play, and this will have pushed some of my personality away, but at least there was still some of me there. My part in that pitch was my own, regardless of the tips from Google lurking in the back of my mind, and that’s something I can be proud of.
Have any tips that you live by when giving a pitch? Please share in the comments below.