How not to bore your investors during a video pitch

As a founder you have 99 problems and a good video pitch is one. Since the pandemic hit, I’ve been part of about 100 video-based investor pitches. Unfortunately, I must say that most are pretty bad. Here are a few things you can do to make them less bad. Your future investors will thank you. 

To deck or not to deck?

First, please always ask if an investor wants you to present the deck or not. Most of the time you probably should not. Chances are we’ve seen the deck already, you reading it out loud doesn’t make investors more likely to invest. Better to have a more natural conversion and lots of Q&A back and forth. Yes, we get it, you’re in the top right quadrant of the competitive matrix, very exciting…

Less is usually more

At the start of the pandemic my meetings were 1 hour long. Then 45 minutes long about halfway through, and today only 30 minutes. By the time this thing is over I suppose my meetings will be 1 minute long where I simply come on screen, wave, and then promptly leave. The point being is that my attention span (and I assume many others) for video meetings is getting shorter. I also feel like you lose even the most captivated investor’s true attention after 30 minutes. So, use your time wisely and avoid loooong and complicated responses to questions.

The curse of the live demo

Any video-based investor pitch that doesn’t include a live product demo is a missed opportunity. Seeing actual product is a million times better than slides. Even if I’m not your target customer I want to get an idea of the sophistication of what you have built. Take us through the product but stay focused on the features that your customers really love. And yes, we all know about the ‘live demo curse’ but with some practice and using test environments you can pull it off. Worst case scenario, if it does totally blow up live that will be significantly more entertaining than most video pitches.

You never call anymore

I guess the last tip is not related to video meetings, but this older technology called a ‘phone’. Our ancestors used to use them to call people directly without video and without a computer. I recently switched out my Calendly default to my phone number to encourage more people to call instead. It works sometimes, (I also leave my Whereby room link as a backup) and I really enjoy the lower stress of a phone call. Also, I can walk around my garden and get some sunlight all while you regale me with fables of exponential growth. So don’t be afraid to ask an investor if they are open to a phone call. For 1:1 meetings, or what used to be known as an ‘investor coffee meeting’ a phone works just fine.

I hope those tips are helpful and your video pitches are more successful as a result!

Can you hear me now? Sorry you’re breaking up. Hello?

Sean Percival

Sean Percival is an American author, investor and entrepreneur.