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Tips On Pitching Your Startup To Investors
27 January 2021·12 min read

Olga Chechłacz

Editor, Vestbee

A Bunch Of Tips On Pitching Your Startup To Investors

The really important day of pitching your startup in front of investors is drawing close? Don’t make yourself feel anxious - it’s a reason to be excited and proud of! We believe that solid preparation is a key to success, that’s why we prepared a comprehensive overview of tips & tricks on startup pitch. 

Before digging into this set of valuable guidelines we recommend you to check out our previous briefing on How to create a pitch deck that will get your startup funded and How to write elevator pitch for investors. Ready? Let’s take a closer look at how to make a successful startup pitch that will help your startup get funded!

And if you want to discover more VC funds, check out our VC list - a complex database of the best early-stage venture capital funds investing in innovative startups across different verticals. Read More.

Right Mindset

Pitching can be compared to playing golf because both activities require a great deal of skills, precision and a strong mental state of mind. A successful startup pitch begins with the right mindset, so try to identify your strengths and weaknesses. It will help you to find the way to turn stress, anxiety, or concerns into positive thinking, motivation, and goal-oriented public speech. Here are some tips you should apply to make yourself comfortable in front of the investors:

  1. Stay focus and don’t let other issues distract you
  2. Think about startup pitch as an exciting opportunity for your business
  3. Treat your pitch as a life-lesson out of which you will get many valuable conclusions
  4. Be well prepared, because practice makes perfect and always stands behind any success

These factors are just some guidelines you may follow, but the most important is developing your own pre-pitch routine, something that works the best for you! Keep in mind that learning through experience and drawing conclusions by yourself is the most effective practice for successful entrepreneurs. 

Catching investors’ attention

The way of delivering what you want to express and present about your startup is as important as the content. Even the best solution could be missed if you are not able to pass the right message to potential investors and convince them about the uniqueness of your startup. That applies to any presentation you will have a possibility to deliver in the future, whether it’s an elevator pitch, competition pitch, investors deck, or just a story to tell. The first thing you should consider is captivating the audience’s attention. How? Create a good first impression!

Investors believe that you are a reflection of your startup, its representative and vital part. Show your enthusiasm, self-confidence and professionalism to assure them about the good quality of your product. At the same time stay concentrated - investors seek specifics and straight massages. Establish empathy and think about how you would like to see your startup presentation. Don’t think about the investors as the lion’s den that you are about to jump in, but picture them as your allies. Remember that the stickiness of the first impression is to work in your favor - just put the right foot forward! That can assure the audience's loyalty and belief. Think about your business - what are its main features/qualities that you want to bring out? Stick to them and try to present by your behaviour, posture, presentation’s design and attitude. 

Keeping the investors’ interest

After catching the investor’s attention make sure to keep it. And what is the best way to achieve that? Curiosity! Stir investors’ curiosity by using intriguing, provocative questions to identify why something doesn’t work and needs a solution that your startup can assure. If you can reveal a disconnection in someone’s worldview, they’ll feel the need to bridge that knowledge gap. Once you’ve sparked that desire, it will be so much easier to start building and sending on your business idea.

Remember to explain all terms and concepts concerning the specifics of your business that the investors might be unfamiliar with. That will make your pitch accessible and smooth. Consider using metaphors, they help to reveal the pattern your startup concept follows. This will help you also “sell the idea” and convince the investor audience to “dig deeper” into your business. 

Right story to share

Ever heard about storytelling? It’s a very powerful marketing technique that creates a beautiful story around your startup and emotional connection with potential investors. It helps investors and the audience picture themselves as characters of the story where the product or service your startup provides is a perfect solution. So in other words, take them on the journey! Of course, not every random story will grab potential investor’s attention. There are a few important points that should be taken into consideration when choosing the right one for your startup pitch and pitch deck:


  • Always make your story relevant to the subject at hand
  • Keep your stories short and straightforward
  • Eliminate inconsequential detail
  • Space stories at intervals to reemphasize your message
  • Use appropriate body language and facial expressions to convey emotions to your listeners
  • Use elements of the story that your audience can relate to (e.g. people, places, and familiar facts)
  • Emphasize the adjectives and verbs in your stories to make them sound more interesting


  • Do not use more than two or three stories on the same topic as each one will lose its impact
  • Do not use terms that are foreign to the experience of the audience without any explanation
  • Do not fill stories with too many characters, events, or details

Stick to the plan

Remember that all aspects mentioned above are just measures supporting your main goal. You don’t have the whole day to convince investors to invest in your startup, so always make your pitch solid, well-organized, and persuasive. When you talk about something that passionates you, it’s really easy to get off the track, so watch yourself and go smoothly from one point to another. This will help you provide all the necessary information on your project at the assigned time. In order to know how to create your pitch deck, make yourself familiar with the right structure - it will prompt you what kind of details investors are looking for.

What is more, leave the space for the questions and be prepared for them. They are usually an important complementary part of the presentation to help you clarify some details.

Now, after the theory let’s move on to some live presentation aspects. They are an integral part of your startup pitch. Everything that you claim has to be supported by your posture, gestures, way of speaking, and visuals on the screen. They need to be coherent and give the right signals.


A vital part of any public speaking is knowing what to do with your body. You need to control your moves and behavior while acting fully natural. Your emotions affect how and what the audience feels, so you need to be casual and self-confident but professional at the same time. Creating a restful and amicable atmosphere during the speech should be your goal. More than 80% of communication that the speaker passes is non-verbal including both body language and tone of voice. Keep that in mind and try no to give inconsistent signals. The best practice is to keep your chest open and stand naturally - not too stiff or slumped, good posture will help you breathe and speak easier and that will let your audience know that you are calm and in control. Don’t forget about your voice - speak naturally and clearly while keeping a steady pace. Feel free to sip water throughout the speech, it will give you a moment to pause and regain your composure. 

Those aspects make not only yourself comfortable but the audience as well. Don’t forget about them and try to catch eye contact to show your listeners that they are an important part of your speech. As soon as you find this connection with the investors you can slowly move to the next point.

Breathing & Speaking Harmony

Remember that proper breathing is a key to persuasive public speaking. After establishing the right posture you should focus on the sound and timbre of your voice. Before the pitch try to breathe deeply - this will help you feel relaxed and in control. While pitching, use that breath to support your words, letting it out steadily while you are speaking. Breath is in charge of controlling your speaking pace, so try to do it at least at the end of every sentence. Thanks to that your voice will be strong and powerful. Practice before and create your own harmony, because during the pitch this technique should be used naturally. Don’t think about it too much - just go with the previously worked out flow.

Design & Visuals

Good design really matters! It determines the message you want to share about your business. Well-prepared visuals gain investors’ trust and are easy to print in their memory, they also have a strong influence on the audience's perception of your credibility. So they are worth investing your time! Let’s dig into details by discovering some tips:


  • Make sure the details of your presentation can be seen from all sides of the room. Investors should not exhaust their eyes to see it.
  • Keep your visuals simple and clutter-free. One image should demonstrate one concept or contain one message.
  • Choose professional-looking images for your pitch deck. Spelling mistakes and poor quality images have a negative impact on your credibility and professionalism.
  • Select visual aids that have relevance to your audience. Use images that your investor audience is familiar with.
  • Keep visual aids brief. Do not spend too much time explaining each slide
  • Use charts and graphs to support the pitch deck presentation of numerical information.
  • Use a pointer to direct the audience’s attention to the part of an image or a graphic that might not be obvious to them.


  • Do not turn your back to the investors while explaining your visual aids.
  • Do not read from your visuals. If the audience can read what you are saying, there is no point in listening to the speech
  • Do not place more than one message on each slide, as it confuses the investors
  • Do not over-use color or mix different fonts
  • Do not assume that your images are self-explanatory. Most visual aids should be explained and even linked to a particular story.
  • Do not wave the pointer all over the screen as you talk. It is distracting and makes it hard to keep up with your speech.
  • Do not just pass on the information. Make a point with each slide!

Online Pitching

Sometimes due to variable circumstances, you may be asked to make your pitch deck online. All the aspects mentioned before apply here too. However, you should be aware that this way is a bit more challenging than the live one. Why? It’s just harder to grab the audience’s attention and make a personal connection. Deal with that by KISS IT meaning keeping it short and simple, to receive fully focus on what you are saying. On the other hand, there are some positive aspects - your presentation is clearly visible and your voice better audible. It’s also easier to control your body language. 

In this situation taking care of technicalities is crucial. Familiarise yourself with technology. Choose the best tool for your presentation and make as many pre-tests as you need to feel comfortable while using it. Make sure you are well-heard and visible along with presentation slides on the screen. It’s not as complicated as you may think - just stay positive, try and believe in yourself.

Golden rules for the road!

Here are some rules of thumb to sum up all you need to know before pitching.

Show your energy

Demonstrate your involvement during the whole pitch. Investors don’t like seeing passive attitude, they do appreciate engagement and energy beaming from entrepreneurs.

Come prepared

As mentioned in the beginning preparation is the key -  knowing your business in and out makes you feel self-confident and influences investors’ positive attitude. 

Nail down the visuals 

Any presentation is heavily dependent on the visuals, so try to present your startup idea by using convincing and realistic pictures that go along with what you are trying to explain.

Don’t be afraid of silence

Silence might be uneasy, but actually, it draws investors’ attention and lets them digest topics you have just mentioned. It also helps bring well-thought comments. This kind of break-in pitching gives an impression of you controlling the situation and pace of the presentation. But remember that it can’t be too long as it may confuse investors. After a while when no questions arrive, it’s better to provide a short comment or just thank for the attention and end pitching.

Create one main idea 

Make it the through-line for your entire presentation, so that everything you say links back to it in some way. That will help you stick to the plan, provide a clear picture of your startup and give the potential investors an overview on what you care about to express.

Give a reason to care

Explain what story stands behind your startup idea, create the relevant description that makes your investor audience identify with. That will strengthen the necessity of developing your business and help others understand it.


After going the full distance we strongly believe that you are ready to stand in front of the investors and pitch your startup. Based on all of the aspects mentioned above, develop your own recipe for business success. Good luck!

Related Posts:

How To Create A Pitch Desk That Will Get Your Startup Funded (by Ewa Chronowska, Partner, Next Road Ventures)

How To Write Elevator Pitch For Investors (by Ewa Chronowska, Partner, Next Road Ventures)

Types Of Startup Funding Rounds (by Marcin Laczynski, Partner, Next Road Ventures)


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