Presenting to Investors: Conciseness = Clarity
October 17, 2012 | By Kevin Vela
“Confident writers have the courage to speak plainly; to let their thoughts shine rather than their vocabulary.” – Ralph Keye
While it might not seem like it at first glance, pitching an idea is, in some ways, just like writing…and you need to let your thoughts shine.
When you go out and present to investors, your time in front of them is precious. Oftentimes, entrepreneurs get so bogged down in trying to get all of their pitch out at once that the message gets lost to the investor. This means that the investor doesn’t have a clear handle on your concept, and might even think that you, as the entrepreneur, don’t have a clear handle on your concept either. If this is the case, then your startup has lost a potential investor.
The same inferences are often drawn from busy slides, decks. and financial docs. I think that some entrepreneurs have the misguided notion that the fancier or more detailed their pitch is, the better it will be received. This isn’t true. More often than not, short and sweet will get the job done better and faster. Not only do well drafted and concise docs look sharp, but also they show a true level of understanding of the business model and marketplace. If you show your confidence in your business model and demonstrate that you’re savvy about the marketplace, investors feel more comfortable entrusting you with their investment.
Investors are looking for entrepreneurs who “get it.” As you’ve heard over and over, investors are usually investing in a team or person, not an idea. If you can accurately convey your message in a brief but informative manner, demonstrating your knowledge and your ability to pass that knowledge along, that’s a good indicator to investors that you can be one of those entrepreneurs that they want to invest in.
So, before you give your next pitch, take a look at your materials and see where you can edit for conciseness and clarity. Your investors will appreciate it, and it just could payoff.