How To Prepare for An Investor Call

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How To Prepare for An Investor Call

Whether you are raising a round of financing via safe notes or equity, preparing for an investor call well in advance is critical. Nowadays investors are used to doing meetings online. This is a much different experience than before COVID where you had to go all the way to the office of the investor.

Below are some of the things to keep in mind in order to approach your investor call on the highest possible note. 

  • Send out your pitch deck slides in advance: In general, providing your presentation slides ahead of time is a good idea, but it’s even more vital in a digital setting. If your video has technical difficulties, viewers can still follow along by downloading the content to their own devices. Sending your slides ahead of time also allows investors to process the content and formulate questions.
  • Be prepared: By properly preparing yourself, you can reduce the likelihood of malfunctions and disruptions. Choose a location with no interruptions, and make sure that you have a high-speed Internet connection to prevent making a terrible first impression. Send a calendar invite to participants so that you’ll get a reminder before the call, so there won’t be any time zone confusion.
  • Declutter your space: Make yourself presentable and clear the background of clutter and distractions to set the tone and work using the investor’s preferred video conferencing platform. Use a platform that allows you to share your screen to discuss your pitch deck or anything else that you have to show them to help them get a feel for your pitch. If your team is available, invite them to join you.
  • Do your research on the investors: Know who the investors are and research what they have invested in before. Everything from the sectors that they generally invest into,  to the growth stage that they are comfortable with. Investment amounts can typically be found in their investment portfolio. Take a look at how your startup compares. You aren’t only selling the product or service but also the market opportunity and ROI (return on investment).
  • Collaborate with your coworkers: If you intend to invite other startup representatives on the call, make sure you communicate with them ahead of time so you can present a professional, cohesive front. You may, for example, assign certain employees to deliver specific parts of the presentation or respond to specific types of queries.
  • Get a virtual data room: Virtual data rooms are online archives of sensitive and confidential information that can be shared with other parties for important events such as mergers and acquisitions, fundraising rounds, and initial public offerings (IPOs). With a virtual data room, you can back up your statements with the appropriate documentation without fearing them getting into the wrong hands.

What to do during the call

  • Select the best camera angle: Position an external webcam, smartphone, or tablet for the best view of your head and shoulders if you’re broadcasting from one. Make proper use of light to avoid having a picture that is too dark or too bright. Ensure the device isn’t in an inconvenient position, such as too near or too far from your face.
  • Provide an agenda: Provide an agenda at the start of the call so that everyone knows how long the call will last. This will offer clarity and direction so that you don’t go beyond time and can transition smoothly between different conversation segments.
  • Tell a story: Concentrate on what you’ve done and the journey that you have taken. Explain when you first noticed the problem solved by your service or product, and how others might relate to it. illustrate how your startup does better or differently than others.
  • Relax and enjoy: It can be hard to be calm and relaxed if you find pitching difficult. If you find it hard to relax, open a window to get some air flow into the room. Having a glass of cold water at hand will help with a dry mouth. Concentrate on your breathing and Slow it down. Take deep breaths and ensure you continue to pause for breath during your presentation.
  • Ask questions: Questions and answers are important for both you and the investor, you may require the funds but you should also be questioning what other value the investor can bring to the table.
  • Maintain a straightforward approach: Your pitch deck should be concise, easy to understand, and present enough information for the investor to understand what you need and why they should trust you with their money. You can also walk through the experience as a customer or user if you have any models or prototypes. More than your startup’s financial expectations, the market potential is about how your product or service fits in.
  • Use your Voice Effectively: To make your voice more interesting and hold your audience’s attention. Vary the speed at which you talk, emphasizing changes in your pitch and tone.
  • Make use of the mute button: If you’re in a noisy environment or expect an interruption, strategically using the mute button can help. On the other hand, remember to unmute yourself when it’s your turn to talk.
  • Make a recording of yourself: Record your pitch and analyze it after the call to identify what needs improvement and what went well. Recording yourself before the call might help you better organize your time and eliminate any nervous feelings. Consider recording an on-demand webinar which provides a link for people to access it at any time.

What to do after the call

  • Decide on what happens next: You should know where your potential investors stand at the end of your conversation. If they cannot commit, find out what details they require or how much progress they would like to see.
  • Follow up: Send an email to the investors shortly after the call that summarizes the topic and highlights the key insights. Thank everyone for joining, and address any questions you weren’t capable of answering during the conference call.
  • Keep account of every investor meeting: This includes how you met them, what you talked about, when you last spoke with them, and what they said. You’ll be talking to dozens of people, and it’s easy to lose sight of where you’re at in the conversation.

Every pitch should be an opportunity to learn something new

Make the most of this time by scheduling a few remote pitch sessions, whether one-on-one meetings with investors or participation in virtual pitch events.

The more you practice, pitch and tweak your approach, the better you’ll be at presenting your idea and explaining its value to the world.

Conclusion

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to delivering an effective pitch over the internet. 

Behind the slides of almost every good pitch is a solid storyline. Furthermore, directing the investor to the appropriate slides is even more critical when pitching remotely for the investor to understand it. You’re not just there to chat; you’re there to pitch.

Remember to address each area of your pitch with a “just right” approach. Make sure there isn’t too little or too much of anything in any part.

Above all, consider what the investor will say following the presentation. If they don’t say what you want to hear, then you need to improve your pitch.

Author Bio

Alejandro Cremades is a serial entrepreneur and the author of The Art of Startup Fundraising. With a foreword by ‘Shark Tank‘ star Barbara Corcoran, and published by John Wiley & Sons, the book was named one of the best books for entrepreneurs. The book offers a step-by-step guide to today‘s way of raising money for entrepreneurs. 

Most recently, Alejandro built and exited CoFoundersLab which is one of the largest communities of founders online. 

Prior to CoFoundersLab, Alejandro worked as a lawyer at King & Spalding where he was involved in one of the biggest investment arbitration cases in history ($113 billion at stake). 

Alejandro is an active speaker and has given guest lectures at the Wharton School of Business, Columbia Business School, and NYU Stern School of Business. 

Alejandro has been involved with the JOBS Act since inception and was invited to the White House and the US House of Representatives to provide his stands on the new regulatory changes concerning fundraising online.

Also Read: How To Choose The Ideal Legal Business Structure For Your Tech Startup?

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