How Do You Keep Your Investor Pitch From Falling Flat?

“You should have seen the look on Gill’s face,” Barry, the Chairman of the Board of my company said to me. He was telling me about sitting in on a pitch to Gill’s, our lead investor, fund.

Image for post
Image for post
Picture: Depositphotos

Before your meeting:

A. You should rehearse your pitch.

There’s nothing worse than watching a CEO that’s given a one hour time period to pitch run out of time. There’s just no excuse for that. Ever.

B. You should always have a hard copy back up just in case.

My business partner, Cathal, and I had to fly out to New York to meet with some investors who were planning on investing about $80M based on our recommendation. We had a slide deck ready on our computer, plus we brought a thumb drive with the deck, and, just in case, we had hard copies of the presentation too.

C. You should show up 15 minutes early.

You never want to be late to an investor meeting. With traffic being what it is, you never know if you’ll be delayed.

D. You should only bring team members that will add value to the meeting.

I’ve sat through pitches where it takes over 20 minutes to get through introducing your team. Talk about a rally killer.

During your meeting:

A. You should get to the point.

You have such a short time to hook your audience, maybe seven seconds or less. In that seven seconds, a great CEO is able to tell investors everything they need to know, so they can get excited about investing in their company.

B. You should know your numbers.

I was speaking with a CEO about his company. He was preparing to raise his next round of funding.

  • What is your estimated revenue for the year?
  • What is your break even revenue?
  • What is your current burn rate?
  • When will you hit cash flow break even?

C. You should follow the rule of four.

The CEO was wearing a polo shirt and he sat down in the middle of our big conference room. There were about 10 of us from the fund in the room with him.

D. Have your backup slides prepared.

“Do you know what really impresses me?” “Donald,” the head of Donald Ventures said to me and the 100 other CEOs in attendance at his annual CEO summit in Tiburon. “A great backup slide deck. There are always questions your slide deck can’t answer. But if you have the answer in your backup slides, then that’s great because you’ve closed the deal.”

After your meeting:

A. Promptly follow up any investor requests.

You knocked it out of the park during your investor meeting. That’s great. The day after your meeting, you receive an email from the partner asking for several documents.

B. Be a polite pest.

Sometimes, due to the fog of email and life, you don’t hear from an investor. Sometimes, a non response has nothing to do with you.

C. You want to make it really easy to work with you.

Raising money is the ultimate in sales. Great sales executives know how to make the sales process as frictionless as possible, and so should you.

I work with startup CEOs to help them grow their businesses . I built several businesses from $0 to >$100M. Learn more at

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store