Getting Investor Attention: Seven Steps to a Verbal Pitch that Works

  1. Keep it brief: aim for 30 seconds or less.
  2. Grab their attention: share your exciting vision in a succinct, compelling way that captures their attention and makes them want to learn more. Think of the one key thing you want your audience to remember, and make sure you say it clearly in your pitch.
  3. Be goal-oriented: there’s probably a reason you’re meeting this person. Are you trying to spread your company’s brand? Acquire new customers? Raise money? Keep your goal in mind while crafting your pitch.
  4. Maintain high energy: you may feel like a broken record, but remember everyone else is hearing this for the first time. Don’t be afraid to use the same great pitch over and over, just try to keep your energy high.
  5. Pay attention to your audience: do they understand your pitch, or are they confused and losing interest? What is most compelling to them? If it’s an investor, try to have an understanding of the areas where they invest, both stage (Seed / Series A / Series B / Growth / etc) and sector.
  6. Be authentic, courteous, and friendly: be yourself and speak an authentic message. Make sure you get your point across, but also be mindful of your surroundings. Are there other people waiting in line to meet the speaker? Keep it short and move along once you’ve made your ask and achieved your goal. Does it feel like you’re selling too hard? Yield the floor to someone else for a bit. Are there others lingering around to join your group? Say hello and make it easy for them to join you. Help to diffuse the “awkward factor” at networking events and other attendees will naturally feel more comfortable around you.
  7. Ask for what you want: whether it’s feedback on your deck over email, a 30-minute phone call, a follow-up meeting, or an introduction. You’re not going to get it if you don’t ask.

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Consumer tech investor and startup supporter @mavenvc.

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Sara Deshpande

Sara Deshpande

Consumer tech investor and startup supporter @mavenvc.

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