Creating an impactful investor pitch can be just as critical to getting the funding you need to grow a promising venture as having a great concept or product is. When so much is riding on effective communication, how do you know what to include? The fear of leaving out a crucial point that will convince the audience has led more than one entrepreneur down the path of putting in extra information without a clear purpose.
This natural impulse is, unfortunately, the wrong one. It’s far more likely to dilute the impact of your pitch than it is to persuade an investor. When you try to fit in everything, too often you don’t leave your listener with a memorable impression. They come away with an assortment of facts and ideas that may not seem to be well connected or have a unified point.
When you want to make your investor pitch stand out and connect, it needs a clear focus that guides its content. To achieve this, you need to craft a core message.
Finding Your Core Message
When you want to influence other people to take action—in this case, invest in your business—you need to tell a compelling story, a narrative that doesn’t just convey facts but also builds empathy. (The StoryBrand framework, which we’ve discussed before, is a great guide for building this kind of story.) To ensure that your audience comes out of your presentation with a crystal-clear understanding of what they’re supposed to know and/or what they’re supposed to do next, you also need a core message at its center.
A core message is easy to describe but often hard to create. It’s a simple sentence that summarizes the heart of your entire presentation. When you correctly identify your core message as you build your pitch, it can help you effectively choose what information is key to include and what can safely be left out.
The Point of the Message
Developing a core message is about giving your pitch a focus. It needs to succinctly answer one of two questions:
- What is the one idea I want my audience to be able to remember and repeat?
- Will my audience be motivated or inspired to take action (whatever that next step is) at the end of my pitch?
The goal is to make sure that the foundation of your pitch is a clear, persuasive central idea that will stick in a listener’s memory.
Refining this message until you’ve truly hit the mark may take several attempts as you develop your presentation. You should check as you work to see if it truly sums up the heart of your whole pitch, it’s short and direct enough to repeat easily, and everything you’ve included in the pitch leads back to and supports it. If you find, during this process, that some of the information you’ve included in your presentation doesn’t lead back to that message, you can take one of two approaches. If you’re sure the message you have is the right one, you take the information out. It may be important or useful information, but not for this purpose. On the other hand, if you’re sure that material shouldn’t be left out, then you should take another look at the core message to see if it needs further work.
When you start with the central message, it’s like having a map in front of you as you craft your pitch. You’ll know what parts of the story are essential, and your audience will be more engaged in what you have to say.
Helping You Connect
Pitch opportunities are a limited window to help secure the future of your venture. Squash & Stretch’s story development services can help you tell your story with the focus and emotional impact you need to set your pitch apart. To find out more about how we can help add value to your pitch, contact us here to schedule a free initial consultation.