Top Mistakes When Pitching Investors – How to Fix Them

How to avoid investor pitching mistakes. When you pitch investors, you want to be good, if not great. This might be your only chance to make a lasting impression. In every case, giving a great investor pitch can have a lasting impact.

The good news is: pitching to investors is a skill that anyone can learn. With polished investor pitching skills you are on your way to a more successful future.

We’ve been supporting executives to build their investor pitching skills for 15+ years. Here, our experts share their advice on the most common investor pitching mistakes and how to fix them.

Let’s review each of these 10 top tips in more detail:

Mistakes when pitching investors #1: Not preparing enough

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when pitching investors is not preparing enough. A well-prepared pitch will be tailored to that specific investor. You will have run through it multiple times. You will have used a critical audience to tear your pitch apart and put it back together again. This means you need a clear understanding of your investor, their interests and concerns. You should be as prepared as a tennis player is when playing Wimbledon.

How to Avoid It:

To avoid this mistake, start by researching your investor and tailor your pitch to their interests and concerns. Then, set clear goals for your investor pitch. Identify the key messages you want to get across and the outcomes you want to achieve. Finally, practice your pitch several times, making sure you grab attention at every stage. And prepare for an interactive pitch meeting, not a boring presentation.

Mistake #2: Reading from Notes or Slides

Another common investor pitching mistake to avoid is reading directly from notes or slides. This will make you sound robotic and uninspired. It will also make it difficult to connect with your investor and build rapport.

How to Avoid It:

To avoid this mistake, memorise your key points and only use your notes or slides as a guide. Even better, never even look at your slides.  Let any visual aids be for the investor’s benefit, not yours. Practice your investor pitch enough times so that you feel comfortable enough to speak without relying on your notes. This will help you connect with your investor and make your pitch feel more natural and conversational.

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Investor Pitch Mistake #3: Focusing Too Much on Yourself

It’s easy to get caught up in your own nerves and concerns when pitching to investors. However, if you focus too much on yourself, you risk losing your investor’s attention and interest.

How to Avoid It:

To avoid these pitching mistakes, shift your focus away from yourself and onto your investor. Talk about the value you are bringing to them and how you will create a great return for them. Remember, the goal of your investor presentation is to generate a great return for your investor, not to showcase your own skills.

Investor Pitch Mistakes #4: Not Engaging Your Investor

One of the most common mistakes you can make when pitching investors is failing to grab their attention. If your investor is disengaged, they are less likely to like you and less likely to invest in you.

How to Avoid It:

To avoid this pitching mistake, make sure your pitch meeting is interactive and engaging. For example, you could ask your investor questions, encourage discussion, and use examples to make your points more relatable. Use Power Language throughout.  By having a conversation with your investor, you’ll keep them interested and motivated to take action.

Investor Pitching Mistake #5: Saying Too Much

When giving a pitch, it’s tempting to tell them everything they might want to know. But the more you say, the more complex your story becomes. The best investor stories are clear, simple and compelling. But it’s hard work to simplify complicated investment stories.

How to Avoid It:

To avoid this mistake, simplify your investment story. Make it as simple as you can. You’d be surprised how basic some of the best investment stories are. Creating this simple investor story is probably one of the hardest aspects of a great investor pitch. We’ve helped hundreds of firms with this and we use our messaging cracker process to get great results.

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Investor Pitch Mistake #6: Speaking Too Quickly

Speaking too quickly is a trap many people, especially when nervous, fall into. This can make it difficult for your investor to follow your presentation, and can make you appear nervous or unprepared.

How to Avoid It:

To avoid this mistake, don’t just speak slower.  Instead, speak at your usual pace, but add a pause every 6-10 words.  Use shorter sentences.  Use simpler words. And put more energy into your delivery.  With this you will be much more impressive when you pitch.

Pitching Mistake #7 Ignoring your investor

Another common mistake when pitching investors is to ignoring the needs and interests of your investor. If you’re not tailoring your pitch to the investor’s expectations, you risk losing their attention and failing to make a connection.

How to Avoid It:

Take time to understand your investor’s needs and interests before you start preparing your pitch.  Tailor your pitch to meet those needs by talking about the most relevant and important information. Use examples and stories that your investor can relate to and engage with. And ask questions. Lots of them.

Pitch Mistake # 8: Using jargon and technical language

While it may be tempting to use technical language and jargon to sound more knowledgeable and credible, this will backfire and alienate your investor. The most impressive entrepreneurs use the simplest language. Avoid this obvious pitching mistake.

How to avoid it:

Use clear and concise language that is easy to understand.  Avoid using technical terms and jargon unless you are absolutely sure that your audience understands them.  Use analogies and metaphors to help explain complex ideas in a more accessible way. Imagine you are speaking to a 15 year-old.

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Investor Pitch Mistake # 9: Focusing Too Much on Slides

It’s easy to get caught up in your slides and forget about your investor. Many entrepreneurs spend too much time working on their slides and even reading their slides, rather than chatting with their investors. This can lead to a disengaged investor and a lacklustre presentation.

How to Avoid It:

Remember, your slides are a tool, not the main event. Use your slides to support your message, rather than relying on them to carry your pitch. Keep your slides simple and uncluttered, with only a few key points on each. 

Instead of focusing on your slides, focus on your investor. Make eye contact, use body language to emphasize your message, and try to connect with your investor in a meaningful way. By putting your investor first, you’ll create a more engaging and memorable pitch. Imagine you are explaining your business and looking for a fit between the investor’s needs and your needs.

Pitching Mistake #10: Not Rehearsing Enough

One of the most common investor pitch mistakes is not rehearsing enough. Rehearsing your pitch is critical to ensuring that you deliver it smoothly and confidently.

How to avoid it:

Practice, practice, practice: Rehearse your pitch multiple times to ensure that you are comfortable with the content and delivery.  Use video: Record yourself practising your pitch and watch the footage to identify areas for improvement. 

Time yourself: Make sure that your pitch fits within the allotted time frame. Practice adjusting your pace to stay on track.  Get critical feedback: Ask someone to listen to your pitch and provide constructive feedback on your content and delivery. Like this you can avoid pitching mistakes.

What Next to Avoid Investor Pitching Mistakes

The best way to avoid weaknesses in your investor pitch is through practise and with feedback.  We can help accelerate this process with intensive coaching. 

With just a few hours of support we can transform you and transform your pitch, so that you run an investor pitch meeting like a professional.  Call our client services director for a chat about how we can help you.

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About Benjamin Ball Associates

Benjamin Ball Associates  Presentation skills coaching team

At Benjamin Ball Associates, we help our clients to communicate better. You get presentation coaching for executives.

Over 15+ years the award-winning BBA team has coached thousands of senior executives globally to present powerfully. You get access to a transformational toolbox of presentation skills & techniques to help you become a clear, confident communicator.

We’ll help you create a powerful first impression that hooks and engages your audience immediately, and we’ll transform you to deliver clearly, confidently and with impact.

Speak to Louise on +44 20 7018 0922 or email louise@benjaminball.com to find out more and discuss transforming your speeches, pitches and presentations.

Contact us for a free consultation on your coaching needs

Contact us for a chat about how we can help you with your presenting.

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