Your pitch is your story – and you need to tell it brilliantly. It’s a compelling narrative that should take your investor on a journey, which hopefully ends with them keen to get on board. So, when you create your pitch, the first thing you need to consider is the structure you’ll follow. After all, good stories always have a solid structure.
The thing is that many entrepreneurs might arrive at this stage of pitch construction without a lot of experience at crafting compelling narratives. Even those who can hold a room transfixed with entertaining anecdotes might never have sat down to actually plot out a story. You may consider this kind of work the domain of novel writers, people who combine creativity with logical, coherent plotting. However, if you want to create the perfect pitch, you need to embrace the challenge and get your structure spot on.
The purpose of pitch structure
Nailing your investment pitch structure is principle number three of the Six Principles of the Perfect Pitch, as it’s the structure that plays a crucial role in constructing that all-important narrative. The three purposes of a winning structure are:
To present your story in digestible chunks, free of waffle.
To provide a route through the information, so they can absorb what they need to know about your idea, business case and market.
To showcase you as an investable entrepreneur who is highly resourceful, understands financial risk and has a plan for commercial success.
Don’t assume anything
There is no reason to believe that the investor you are meeting has any experience of the sector you operate in. Unless they’ve specifically told you that they are an expert in the industry, you should approach your pitch as if they know very little.
Did you know that around 80% of angel investors consider themselves to be ‘sector-agnostic’? This means they don’t limit their investments to any particular industry or niche. That’s excellent news for entrepreneurs because it means the pool of potential investors is large. However, it’s also the reason that many pitches fall flat and fail. Let us explain why.
The biggest mistake you can make with your investment pitch structure
You are an expert in your business and your industry, you live and breathe it. Your potential investor has little or no knowledge about the sector or your idea. So, your pitch needs to adequately explain everything and build on the knowledge within in a logical fashion.
Sadly, this is something many entrepreneurs get completely wrong.
We’ve seen so many pitches that introduce a point on slide two that isn’t adequately explained until slide nine. There are plenty of pitches that dive into the subject without any setup and context. Others make huge assumptions about investor knowledge, so are incoherent to those learning about this industry for the first time. Long story short, they are structurally a mess.
For investors, this is maddening. To listen to a pitch that you can’t easily follow and that asks you to do a lot of ‘dot-joining’ is frustrating and alienating. It also denies them the chance to absorb and process the information about your idea, so they might miss a great opportunity because it’s not well explained. Nobody wins when a pitch’s structure is all wrong.
How to approach the structure of your pitch
Now you know where it can go horribly wrong, here’s some advice on getting it right.
Your business idea is unique, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ pitch structure. Google “What slides I should have in my pitch” and you’ll get millions of results. In the top few pages along you’ll be presented with dozens of different structural suggestions.
The truth is, you need to consider how to tell your story to someone who has never heard it before in a way that highlights all your strengths. This will be entirely different to AirBNB, Uber or whoever else’s pitch you stumbled across in your research.
By now, you should have completed the ‘preparation’ phase of the Six Principles of the Perfect Pitch (if you haven’t, click here and work your way through it). This means both your business plan and financial projections are ready.
Go through them and work out the most powerful and winning points that explain why this opportunity is unmissable for investors. You have to be super selective about what you include and what you leave out.
Remember, you’ve only got 15 – 20 slides to play with in your pitch deck. You need to use them wisely. The structure needs to begin with an introduction to the sector, showing the gap in the market is and explaining what consumers are looking for. You then move on to explain the investment opportunity step-by-step.
This is your chance to showcase your investment opportunity and tell the story that’ll win over investors and make your dream a reality. By getting the structure of your pitch right, you can give yourself the best chance.
We’re going share with you an exact formula to plot out your pitch structure in an upcoming blog, but you can find everything you need to know right now by downloading Investable Entrepreneur, the Amazon bestseller from Robot Mascot COO James Church.