4 Storytelling Tips To Improve Your Investor Presentation


investor presentation

Read Time: 5 minutes

  • Storytelling help create memories by attaching emotions to your presentation that can influence investors behavior.
  • Investors want you to stimulate their imagination and share the sense of discovery and hope related to your product.

Prepare for a journey. An undertaking where protagonist overcomes antagonist with blood, sweat, and tears. Coming out on the other end on top of the world.

You, succeeded. Triumph! Do you feel the elation running through your body? The inherent feeling of satisfaction overwhelming your every nerve.

That’s the feeling of reward – an emotion. Emotions are the reason you make decisions. Why you jump for joy when Harry defeats Voldemort for the first time. The fear you felt upon his return. The agony when your favorite Walking Dead character gets bit by a walker.

A compelling story takes you on a journey. It creates “sticky” memories by attaching emotions to things that happen.

Entrepreneurs and startups put a lot of thought and effort into creating their pitch deck. They lay out their financials, use HD stock photos, and prove they’ve tested their acquisition channels with success.

But for some reason, they find themselves with heads hung low and back to the drawing board before their next meeting wondering “why”?

Odds are they missed the emotional connection a listener makes when they are stimulated by a story. A conflict-resolution, give-you-the-feels, compelling narrative that takes an investor on a trip through their own imaginations.

If you want to excite and inspire your investors during your next presentation, here are 4 storytelling tips that will emotionally engage investors and open them up to your pitch.

Create relatable characters in your story

Nobody is perfect, and neither is the hero of your story. This is what investors will relate to as you tell your story during your pitch. We all root for the people we like and want to support them in any way possible.

Use real names. Create a relatable personality around your character, even if it is you. This will provide higher recall value versus a bunch of bullet points on a screen. An investor will remember the problem, the hero, and the feeling of triumph in the room when you come to the conclusion.

Take your panel on a journey

Every story needs a beginning, middle, and end. This helps invoke the feeling of “what will happen next?” and leave them wanting to know!

The Beginning

Here you want to set the baseline for your story. You want to develop a common ground with investors by describing life as they know it. This will grab their attention immediately and engage them so they will become receptive to your vision.

Then, create the gap. Set the stage for the arising conflict that you can carry throughout the presentation.

The Middle

This part of your presentation will toggle the conflict between different situations and how your solution will fix it. Here, your character should begin to overcome the projected problem with your product or service.

The End

The triumph. The “ah-ha!” moment. The moment your investors are so inspired by your story, that they will be compelled to take action. Lay out the benefits of getting on board with your project – financially and emotionally. Investors can put money anywhere and there’s an intrinsic reward that goes with investing in someone they like, especially as an angel.

Stimulate their imagination

“Stories can make you feel like a kid again. It’s that sense of discovery and wonder. It’s what entrepreneurs are about. Anytime you can share that feeling with your audience you’ve started to capture their imagination.” Chris Carlson, Narrative Pros

Investors pass numbers and graphs every day. While you need the numbers in your financial and traction slides, they shouldn’t be the entire focus on your pitch. Move away from the business jargon and more towards easy-to-digest vocabulary.

The story will help explain difficult problems in softer light. Your goal is to place them in the shoes of your target consumer, giving them a new perspective they didn’t have before.

This will help them understand the emotional and functional benefits behind your product. Only using fact-based content will not elicit an emotional response and therefore, not affect their decision-making process.

By telling an engaging story that leaves investors in a good mood, you improve your chances of getting funded. Studies show that people who were in a positive mood put more faith in the attractiveness or likability of the source. When pitching an idea, you are the source of their positive or negative mood.

Leave them on an emotional high

Who wants to root for a good guy, only to leave on a negative note? No one! Your storytelling deck should end in a positive light with a valuable lesson to take away from it.

Akash Karia, best-selling author and presentation expert, describes this process in his analysis of the best 200 TED Talks. In his paper, he discusses how the most effective presentations end on a positive note – an emotional high.

This could only have been done by what he calls the “spark”, a key piece of wisdom or advice that helps the hero overcome the conflict. A takeaway that the listener can return home with and use in their everyday lives.

This valuable piece of info is what an investor will take home with them. What they will remember you by when they sit to discuss whether you will get funding or not.

Parting Words…

Strong research and data will prove you have the right idea. But a story will emotionally skew investors to your favor and leave an impression they won’t find elsewhere. These 4 storytelling tips for your deck will help you deliver the presentation you want and the funding you’ve worked to secure.