Practicing your pitch is one of the most important parts of presenting to a group of investors. While some people can do a pitch with relatively little practice, no one can just wing it. So how do you know when you’re ready to pitch and you’ve practiced enough? Here are a few quick tips:
1) Practice at least ten times before you pitch in front of someone else. You should get to the point where you’re not having to think about what you’re saying – you have key phrases that you use every time.
2) Time your pitches. If you have more than ten seconds of variation between the pitches, that means you’re making up new stuff each time. Practice enough times that you can hit the same amount of time within ten seconds each time you present.
3) Memorize your slide order. If you have fifteen slides, you should be able to recite the titles of each of the slides in order. This way when you’re on your “problem” slide, you’ll know that the next slide is your “solution” slide and you can transition smoothly and powerfully from one thought to the next. Have someone quiz you for the complete order and starting at random slides so that you always know what is coming next.
4) Be smooth even if you have distractions. Use the TechStars method and have people throw wadded up balls of paper at you while you’re pitching. Have someone unplug the projector and then practice dealing with that smoothly and without dropping a beat in your presentation. Things often go wrong in a pitch, so be ready to roll with the punches.
If you do these things, your pitches will be more professional and confident and you will be better prepared to communicate your ideas most effectively to investors.