[page_counter]
Pitching is like tennis

How to pitch investors – it’s like tennnis, not wrestling

December 15, 2019

How do you pitch investors?

When tennis champion Roger Federer walks out on to Centre Court, he doesn’t know the speed, angle or direction that his opponent will serve, volley or return.

He can research who he’s playing and watch footage of that person in previous matches. But he cannot predict what they will do.

This is the opposite of a professional wrestling match, where every move and outcome is pre-determined. The participants rehearse a set script and perform it theatrically, like actors on a stage.

The two sports require dramatically different training processes. Professional wrestlers plan, rehearse and fine-tune each move in the sequence. Tennis players, however, need to prepare for the unpredictable.

How to pitch investors? Prepare for the unpredictable

Investors will slamming tough questions over the net that you need to return with a poised volley. It can be intimidating. Many of our clients have told us that investor Q&A is the part they dread most. It is, however, essential to the process.

After all, any pitch suffers from information asymmetry – one party knows a lot more about the deal than the other.

It’s therefore the investor’s job to ask tough questions.

They have a duty to peel back the curtain and look behind-the-scenes before reaching a decision, like financial detectives conducting a forensic exam.

That’s because the stakes are so high. If investors receive a defensive or aggressive response to a particular line of enquiry, investors get wary. They worry that you’re hiding something, and that the deal could backfire.

So how do you prepare for questions you can’t predict? Like Roger Federer, you practice, preferably with an expert coach.

How to pitch investors – How do you prepare?

At BBA, your coach will pose a tough question and you respond. Your coach asks a second question and you respond, and then your coach gives feedback on your first few answers.

You discuss potential stumbling blocks and your coach shares practical advice and insight that helps you shape a clear and coherent path through your thoughts.

Your coach puts the first question to you again in a slightly different form, and you give a slightly more concise, confident and persuasive response.

Some of the questions from the session will throw you

You take time to think them through, try out some answers and practise delivering them out loud on your own. You identify any gaps in your knowledge and pick up a few additional facts and figures to use in your answers next time round.

You meet with your coach again, and he or she starts pounding the balls over the net. But this time, you’re ready to return them more swiftly and gracefully.

Instead of wincing when you hear a particularly aggressive question, you relax and smile, responding honestly but positively.

Within a few sessions, you’ll feel ready for whatever happens on Centre Court.

If you fail to prepare…..

After all, Roger Federer doesn’t start a tennis match hoping for a series of easy and predictable shots. What a waste of his skill!

Likewise, invest in preparation and you’ll be able to embrace the tough questions as a challenging – but perhaps even enjoyable – part of the pitching process.

 

Find out how we can help you today

You may also be interested in...

Fundraising Presentations: a survive and thrive guide for talking to investors

Apr 21, 2017

Fundraising presentations are hard work. You're bombarded with challenging questions from investors, worn out by long days, and struggling to...

Read More

Persuasive Investor Presentations – five techniques from psychology

Apr 13, 2016

Investment decision-making is not totally rational. Are you using all the tools at your disposal to create and deliver persuasive...

Read More

Why good public speaking skills make you a better leader

Nov 11, 2016

Do your public speaking skills inspire, motivate and influence others? They should. Many leaders are nervous of public speaking. Some...

Read More

Ten Benefits Of A Better Investor Pitch Book

May 10, 2018

A great investor pitch book is at the heart of successful fundraising. You use it to capture the essence of...

Read More

Why Body Language Matters When Pitching to Win Business

Jun 29, 2012

Better Body Language We all know that body language is important in business.  But how important? And does is really...

Read More

Private Equity Fundraising Tips from the Experts: Become a Top 1% Fund

Sep 06, 2017

How can you be seen as a top 1% fund by investors? At SuperReturn Emerging Markets in Amsterdam, experienced LPs...

Read More

How you can create a powerful elevator pitch

Mar 07, 2016

A great elevator pitch is an essential part of your toolkit Last month I chaired the Quickfire Showcase at Berlin’s...

Read More

How to prepare for your media interviews

Jan 16, 2013

You must prepare for media interviews The excruciating Newsnight interview with Treasury Minister Chloe Smith this summer is one example of...

Read More

How To Write So People Will Read – 6 Great Tips

Mar 11, 2018

These days, we are writing more than ever.  That means it’s harder than ever to grab attention.  Your readers have...

Read More

How well do you answer difficult investor questions?

Nov 16, 2017

When an investor questions how you calculated your Private Equity fund's performance, how do you react? If an investor asks...

Read More

How to Choose a Public Speaking Coach

Aug 21, 2017

How do you choose a public speaking coach? When selecting a public speaking coach or presentation trainer, you want to work...

Read More

10 Power Language techniques to use in your next talk or presentation

Sep 06, 2017

How To Harness Powerful Language For Leadership Communications Great leaders use Power Language. It adds interest and colour to what...

Read More

The “So What?” Test

Dec 30, 2009

When you put your talk or presentation together, how do you decide what to include and what to leave out?  Use...

Read More

Private equity fundraising | Seven tips for first investor meetings

Dec 10, 2015

What do LPs want from private equity funds at first investor meetings? That's the question I put to the panel...

Read More

What do investors want? Six pitch tips for 2017

Sep 21, 2016

While we wrote this piece with our Private Equity clients in mind, there are good lessons here for anyone pitching...

Read More

Give high impact talks and presentations – 5 simple tips

Mar 01, 2017

Do you want to give high impact talks and presentations? Do you want to engage your audience? And do you want...

Read More

Storytelling: your secret weapon for effective business communication

Jul 05, 2017

Leaders use storytelling so that audiences listen, remember and act on what they say. In fact, stories are “the single...

Read More

Make Your Investment Pitch More Memorable – Six Simple Tips

Mar 29, 2017

How do you make your investment pitch more memorable? It's a real challenge these days. Investors have more opportunities than...

Read More

Three persuasive appeals you must use in your talks and presentations

Nov 30, 2016

Your leadership talks need to be persuasive As a leader, every talk or presentation you give is an exercise in persuasion....

Read More

What do LPs want from your private equity pitch book?

Oct 14, 2015

A well-crafted private equity pitch book can make the difference between securing a first meeting with investors and getting a...

Read More

ESSENTIAL PROGRAMMES

Top Blog Post Categories

What Our Clients Say

“BBA transformed our pitch into a compelling investment narrative. They undoubtedly helped us secure Sky TV as an investor.”

Gerry Bastable  Director, Blast Films


“The new presentation properly represents the institutional quality of our fund. It has been a step change for us.”

Erwin de Kleijn Head of IR, Saemor Capital


“We were very pleased…[BBA]  helped us define and explain our unique value proposition. As a result we have attracted new and different investors.”

Florian Kemmerich  Managing Partner, Bamboo Capital Partners

 


To Learn More…

Contact our
Client Services Director
Louise Angus
+44 (0)20 7018 0922