The current pandemic has thrown many curve balls through the year and adapting to them is not always easy. However, as anything, showing agility when the going gets tough is crucial for successful outcomes. This also applies when it comes to pitching virtually. Being in front of fund managers when pitching for investment can be daunting face to face, but modern technology adds an extra layer of uncertainty.
Understanding and assessing which factors play a role in making the pitch outcome favourable will put your mind at ease and make for a better experience. Anticipating worst case scenarios will help you deliver a memorable pitch by cutting out obstacles and preparing you for any plot twists that may arise.
By now everyone is familiar with video calls and the issues they may bring. Poor sound, internet connection, and external noise are some of the difficulties that most people will understand given the situation we’re in, but it can leave unwanted impressions. You have worked so hard to get this pitch right and you don’t want to let technical difficulties lessen your chances. It may be a clever tactic to use the mute button generously – especially if you have not been able to eliminate outside noise. But, don’t forget to unmute yourself when speaking.
Preparing your environment to look professional is a great start. Hide clutter, get your lighting right and make sure your kids are occupied for the duration of the call. Secondly, making sure you have triple tested your internet connection and your equipment is charged, will take away some of the nervousness and you will be able to attack the pitch with confidence. If your internet connection is regularly cutting out unexpectedly, it may also be an idea to consider a backup internet solution.
Sharpening your presentation
Your product is fantastic and your brand design is outstanding, but how do you show this off on screen? Without having the opportunity to present your business to the fund managers face to face, making your presentation come across seamlessly by being prepared and providing the right information is the winning formula.
Guaranteeing your pitch stands out through a carefully designed slide deck is key to making your business stand out. Make sure the deck is on brand, that you have checked the grammar and that it is visually appealing. With virtual pitching, the focus is now on the work, and less on body language and first impressions, so include more detailed information in the slide deck than you usually would.
They should have a pitch deck or business plan ahead of time, but it’s a good idea to make sure the investor has a copy of your slides in case screen sharing doesn’t work.
When testing your internet connection it is also the perfect time to run through your presentation with someone outside your business. They will most likely see it from a completely different point of view, and it is always good to get a fresh pair of eyes and feedback from someone who isn’t too absorbed in the project. They may come up with questions you hadn’t considered and it is a great way for you to preempt any questions you think you might get asked and ensure you are prepared for them.
Capture your audience and show personality
It is no secret that presenting to an audience virtually is not quite the same as standing in front of them, however, getting into the mindset and feeling like you have the viewers right in front of you is crucial to show off your energy and personality. Making sure that you sell your product as much as you sell yourself is crucial in winning the investment, and can be challenging to achieve when you’re meeting the fund managers for the first time virtually.
To get you in the right frame of mind, dress up for the occasion, like you normally would when pitching face to face. You will feel more confident in your usual business attire, and you will look more professional too.
Do your background research. Know who you’re pitching to; what are their interests in- and outside of work? Don’t disregard the usual smalltalk in the beginning of a meeting despite being online. It helps build connection and rapport – and again can help calm the nerves. It can also be an idea to limit the amount of participants in the call. Consider what each individual will contribute to the pitch and whether their attendance is serving a purpose. Often too many participants make a call chaotic and if investors want to meet the full team this can be scheduled down the line.
Pitching virtually and face to face has many similarities and the outcome is determined by how well you have prepared and ultimately, whether your business plan suits the fund managers you are pitching to. Take away the obstacles that may arise when taking the pitch process online, and you are on your way to success.
We are looking forward to being able to meet face to face again soon, but without a crystal ball to know exactly when that’ll be, it’s vital to practice your pitching on video.