Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Why Your Pitch Should Be Less Than 4 Minutes
We hear this over and over again: “What, only 4 minutes! I need more time than that.”
The simple answer is – you don’t. Abe Lincoln once said to a friend “if I had more time, I’d have written a shorter letter.”
Being succinct is actually much harder that being long and rambling. Above all, it is much appreciated by investors.
In fact, a crisp pitch is generally seen as the sure sign of a credible entrepreneur. Even ones with mediocre ideas tend to get funded.
There are two major reasons why short pitches work.
Reason 1 is that if you can’t interest an investor in 30 seconds you probably don’t have anything they’d want to invest in. Or, you really haven’t found what makes your plan interesting and so you are slinging ideas in the hope that something will stick.
Most of all, the discipline required to distill your idea down to a 30 second hook for investors is an extremely useful way to sharpen your thinking about the execution of your plan.
This is why we offer our free Are You Fundable? Capital Raising Workshop and book – to help you distil your idea in a way that investors understand and are most likely to find attractive. Obviously, not all ideas are attractive to all investors but once you know what you really have from the investors' point of view, you understand just who is likeliest to fund you.
Reason 2 is that your job in a first pitch is not sell the business plan but to get investors interested enough to know more. Investing in a startup is not an impulse buy. There are many boxes to be checked before that term sheet goes out. However, taking a liking to an entrepreneur and the possibilities of their idea certainly does happen on impulse and your job is to nurture that without overwhelming them with too much detail and dubious claims.
Pitching is a game of attraction that works by building trust with credible blocks of information. When investors feel comfortable with all those points, checks get written!