Have a business idea but no capital to fund it? Angel investors may be the answer to your prayer. Angel investors are individuals (or sometimes, a network of individuals) who can infuse money into your business. Here are some ways to make an effective pitch to them.
Be prepared to do several presentations
It’s very rare for you to persuade an angel investor on the first try. And even if you do, they’re not going to give as much as a venture capitalist, so you’ll probably have to approach more than one to get the funds you need. Realistically, many entrepreneurs will approach several groups at several times, since the first “seed money” will not last long enough to bring you through the first year of your business.
Prepare a script
The worst thing you can do with an angel investor is to waste their time with a long-winded pitch. Write down the key points and stick to them. And since the first minute is crucial to grabbing their attention, first start with an anecdote or an entertaining story that encapsulates the problem that your product or service will solve.
Pace your presentation
Zip through the introduction (the anecdote and the company history) but slow down and give more time to the slides that have more to do with the business model and why you think this idea will fly (and eventually earn them money, which is what everyone wants to hear anyway). A varied pace keeps the presentation interesting. (Read more tips on preparing a presentation.)
Make the presentation as interesting as possible
Don’t crowd the slides with too much text or boring graphs, but don’t overdo it and turn your presentation into a circus of graphics and music. The key is balance, using the special effects to highlight key points or draw attention to the most important details in a slide.
Give the whole picture
It’s important to discuss the product, but don’t go into all the details—you can easily present those when they’ve shown interest or are asking follow up questions. Spend some of your time talking about the team, your vision, and why you think you can make this idea work.
End with a summary
The last slide should have four key points that you want them to remember (since they won’t retain everything you say).