The best business pitches are the ones that resonate with potential investors. To get feedback on your pitch, it is important to have someone who can provide unbiased and objective analysis. In 2021 industry experts believe there will be a booming market for professionals dedicated to providing such services
The “how to review a pitch” is a question that is asked often. There are many ways for people to get feedback on their business pitch in 2021.
If you’re an entrepreneur seeking for financing, you’re well aware of how crucial—and time-consuming—the pitching process can be. Creating a compelling pitch deck and determining an effective hook are just the beginning. The next stage is to put your proposal to the test to determine whether it resonates with investors.
What’s the point of getting feedback on your pitch deck?
You’re looking for feedback. Your pitch may seem to be a slam dunk on paper, but your deck, strategy, and presentation are all conceptually sound until you bring it all together.
Before you pitch your investors, you should double-check your metrics with industry experts, verify if your presentation has any flaws, and make sure it reads properly.
The more individuals that analyze your proposal before it is seen by investors, the higher your chances of success are. The more opportunities you have to identify any logical mistakes, assumptions that your audience doesn’t understand, or things that just don’t make sense or flow smoothly, the better.
What kind of feedback should you seek?
You should decide what kind of feedback you want from someone before asking them to assess your proposal. This will guarantee that they examine certain aspects of your pitch and respond to any unanswered issues you may have. Here are a few things to think about concentrating on.
Substance may often be overshadowed by style. You might have an aesthetically appealing pitch deck that is so overpowering or inaccurate that it is rendered worthless. So, put your personal investment in the deck aside and attempt to answer the questions below.
Is your pitch deck consistent with your existing brand? Are the visuals easy to understand, consistent, and practical? Does the imagery chosen for each slide correspond to the emphasis of the slide? Is it simple to read and skim through because of the color choices?
You want it to be trendy while also capturing your audience’s attention. However, you must examine the readability of your slides, how they link to the narrative you’re delivering, and how they represent your brand’s purpose overall.
the content’s clarity
This is similar to the visual aesthetic, but it focuses more on the information you’re covering. It’s all too easy to clog up your presentation with a slew of useless slides. As a result, you should ask your audience to point out any portions that appear repetitive, unfocused, or unimportant.
Finally, you’ll need a simplified and easy-to-understand presentation deck to give to investors. Yes, an enlarged appendix, similar to your business plan, that investors may review at a later date is something you should explore. When giving a presentation, however, it must be direct and not merely a duplicate of what you want to discuss vocally.
Questions that remain unanswered
One of the most common mistakes is failing to provide the appropriate information in your pitch. A gap in your roadmap, a lack of a plan for how you want to utilize cash, or simply an undefined target market may all derail your presentation.
As a result, ask folks who are studying your presentation to jot down any unanswered questions they have regarding your company. Find strategies to fill in any gaps you see, even if it’s only one call out that’s causing a problem.
What’s the best way to gain feedback on your pitch?
So, who are the greatest individuals to give your pitch a second look? I’ve broken down a few of the various choices for entrepreneurs seeking for feedback on their presentation, based on guidance from our own Tim Berry, founder of Palo Alto Software, and Josh Cochrane, our VP of Product Development. I’ve also added suggestions from a few entrepreneurs who mentioned which sites they found most useful.
1. Prepare a “dummy pitch” for possible investors.
One of the best places to start reviewing your company presentation is with the investors you wish to attract.
After all, they’ll be the ones to decide if your company is a good investment, so why not find out if there are any gaps in your data or areas you should cover more fully now?
Tim recommends inviting prospective investors to see a “pre-pitch” before the official presentation, a tactic that Dune Sciences used to win the 2014 Willamette Angel Conference funding.
“[Dune Sciences] requested that at least three of the member investors visit their headquarters in the week or two leading up to the due diligence and pitch event,” Tim explains. “They were each invited individually, and each of them sat and remarked on the pitch separately. The three people who agreed to do it had some kind of prior contact with the founders. They came up with a good idea and around $300,000 in startup money.”
Additionally, speaking with investors outside of your business may be worthwhile. Seeking out investors who invest in a different field might give insight from a distinct perspective that others in your business may have overlooked.
We’ll go over this in more detail when we talk about angel investors, but it’s a good idea to keep in mind both the investors you’ve identified for prospective investment in your firm and those who aren’t in your industry but can still provide advice.
2. Speak with an angel investor.
Targeting a specific angel investor is an excellent strategy since they are typically eager to listen to your proposal.
While not every angel investor will invest in your company since they have a different emphasis, they may still provide useful comments. Again, this would be a great time to emphasize on the investor’s skills rather than the sector. Rather of chasing money via them, work with them to uncover gaps in your company.
Tim suggests going to Gust, a website that offers regional and local angel organizations. You may then contact an angel in your region from there.
Similarly, AngelList enables you to search by region and for angels who serve as advisors; this helps you to identify angel investors in your area who may be prepared to provide input.
3. Find a mentor and build a connection with them.
Having a mentor may be very beneficial to your growth as an entrepreneur. Finding someone in your business with whom you can seek advice, ask questions, and share ideas might prove to be your most important asset.
If you have a solid relationship with a mentor, he or she may be the one who will offer you the honest, sometimes discouraging criticism that will help you improve your business presentation. “You’ll want to connect with folks who aren’t scared to tell you that your predictions are overly aggressive or that slide XYZ is shooting yourself in the foot,” says Sean Higgins, co-founder of ilos Videos. “Normally, getting this type of input from an outsider is difficult.”
What are the best places to look for a mentor? SCORE, which connects entrepreneurs with possible mentors, is recommended by Bryan Conklin, founder and CEO of Zylo. “I was just assigned a SCORE mentor who has provided invaluable input on my presentations and business planning,” he adds. “I want to use SCORE’s resources as well as my mentor to fine-tune my company strategy.”
4. Seek input from your target audience.
So far, we’ve looked at a few different methods for entrepreneurs to get feedback on their presentation from industry experts. However, although it’s critical to get input from investors and other influential figures in your field, it’s equally critical to solicit feedback from your prospective consumers.
“I normally urge businesses to test their idea by receiving direct feedback from their target clients,” Josh explains. Those are the folks who can best verify the company’s potential.”
While we don’t recommend sitting down with prospective buyers and going through your whole pitch deck with them, you should ask them certain critical questions early on.
Josh recommends that you ask the following questions:
- Is this issue that we’ve detected a genuine issue for you?
- What is the magnitude of the issue?
- Would you be willing to pay to get it resolved?
- What are the available possibilities for resolving it? Have you given them a shot? What are the areas where they fall short for you?
- What are your thoughts on the solution we’ve proposed?
- Do you think it’s a good answer to the problem?
- Would you be willing to pay for our solution?
- Do you have any idea how much you’d be willing to pay for it?
This procedure will not only help you gain feedback on your product, but it will also help you prepare your pitch. If you see any common themes in your prospective clients’ comments, be sure you address them right away in your pitch.
Do your prospective buyers, for example, claim they would purchase your product despite its high price because they feel it would actually address their problem? If you state this early in your pitch, you may have already alleviated a lot of investor fears.
5. Visit a Small Business Development Center in your area.
Your local Small Business Development Center is a wonderful resource for information on a range of business-related issues, and it’s an old favorite for a reason.
SBDCs, which are run by the US Small Company Administration, provide a number of free or low-cost services to entrepreneurs and business owners, including advising, business plan creation, and help locating lenders and investors.
Make an appointment to see your nearest branch. Almost every place, according to Tim, will have someone who can help you improve your pitch, but services may differ by region.
6. Join an entrepreneurial center at a university.
If you’re still in school, your institution probably provides lots of resources for you to use.
Your college’s school of business is likely to provide resources, ranging from MIT’s Martin Trust Accelerator to the University of Oregon’s Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship, which allows students to compete in events like the New Venture Championship.
Not a student right now? Make contact with your old mater; many institutions provide access to former students. Alternatively, even if you haven’t attended a nearby university, look into their programs—you may be able to access particular resources or contact staff who may offer you personal input or guide you in the correct path. University entrepreneurship centers are also a wonderful way to learn about forthcoming contests that you may be able to participate in.
7. Become a member of a coworking space
Not only can coworking spaces provide a location to work outside of your house (which is frequently a “must” for young entrepreneurs who don’t yet have an office), but they also provide a chance to network, make contacts, and, yes, receive feedback.
Bryan has had a lot of success since joining a coworking space, and he recommends it to anybody seeking for feedback on their proposal. “In February 2014, I joined a coworking space in West Palm Beach, FL, and got excellent feedback on my pitches from other entrepreneurs as well as visiting mentors,” he adds. “Coworking is fantastic because it allows you to surround yourself with other like-minded entrepreneurs who can help you evaluate your ideas, pitch, and sympathize with your challenges.”
You’ll be able to make contacts, chat with possible mentors, and spread the news about your company, but you’ll also be able to collect input from a number of sources, including potential consumers and investors.
8. Take part in a competition
Competitions for business plans and pitches are a terrific method to acquire particular, focused feedback; after all, you’re placing yourself in a situation where collecting feedback is the primary aim, rather than gaining funds (though plenty of competitions do include a monetary prize).
Tim recommends that businesses go at this list of contests. Although the quality and prize money vary from competition to competition, he advises that they might be a good opportunity to practice pitching in an environment that encourages criticism.
Sean Higgins competed in the Carlson School of Management’s MN Cup, a new venture competition, which he believes was quite beneficial in terms of gaining advise. “The process provides a lot of input, from what should be in your executive summary to how you really delivered your content,” says the author.
He exclaims, “Don’t sleep on pitch contests!” and we agree.
9. Make a pitch to your friends and family.
You’ve probably heard it before: your product idea should be put down into language that even a kid can comprehend. After all, although you are emotionally committed in your firm and are aware with the ins and outs, your investors may not be.
Consider delivering your pitch to family members, friends, children, and anybody else who is eager to listen who isn’t in your field (but get permission first—we don’t recommend approaching strangers or pitching to a packed street since you could receive some weird stares).
Delivering your presentation to individuals who aren’t acquainted with your sector is a terrific approach to find flaws in your company description. While you may believe something is clear to individuals who aren’t familiar with your field, it’s critical to be as inclusive as possible while presenting your company. After all, you don’t want to miss out on a potential investor because they don’t understand your product or service.
What kind of feedback is most beneficial?
That’s a deceptive question, since there isn’t an one “optimal” technique to analyze your idea before pitching it to investors. Ideally, use a mix of these to gain the most comprehensive and well-rounded comments.
Getting input from a variety of sources is a terrific approach to ensure that you’ve covered all of your areas, that your figures are correct, and that your concepts are clear and simple to grasp.
Do you need assistance in building your pitch? We’ve got your back. To get started on your pitch deck, download our free Pitch Deck Template.
Note from the editor: This article was first published in 2015 and has been updated for 2021.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get feedback on my business idea?
A: The best way to get feedback on your business idea is by doing a market research. This can be done through surveys, interviews, focus groups and more.
How do you evaluate a business pitch?
A: One way to evaluate a business pitch is by looking at it. So, if youre in the room with someone pitching an idea and they show their presentation on screen, thats one thing. If they dont have a presentation or slides prepared but still want you to invest in them based off of what they are saying, then that would be another evaluation point.
How do you give feedback to a pitch deck?
A: My pitch deck is not something I would like to discuss in detail over email. However, if you are interested in receiving more information about the company and what it does, just contact me via email at email@example.com or call our main office number
with your contact details.
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