VC Minute – quick advice to help startup founders fundraise better.
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This will come as no surprise to you, while you’re pitching a VC, you are being judged. You’re being evaluated in a number of ways, and one of those is how you answer questions.
One of the things that I see founders trip up on all the time is they get going and they are a runaway train.
What I recommend is that, for the questions that you know you’re going to get, and let’s face it, VCs are mostly asking all the same questions anyway. You know you’re going to get those questions, so prepare your answers in advance. Think through what would be a short answer, a medium answer, and a long answer. Something in the 60-second range, something in the 2-minute range, and maybe something in the 5-minute range. Then use the appropriate answer at the time that you need to.
All that it takes is thinking through the question: what is the key point that I need to make, or points? How can I make those points succinctly? How do I back up those points with relevant information? and then stop.
If you know that you have a tendency to ramble, work on your answers. Work on detailing the points that you need to make. Have it in your head. Make those points. Provide supporting information. If you need to and finish the thought.
Investors can’t wait to get off of calls where the founder just talks at them and rambles.
On the other hand, if you make strong points and finish your argument and then follow up with a question, “What else can I clarify for you?” It shows self-awareness. It also builds the investor’s confidence in you.
Take the time and think through those questions that you get all the time. Think through the answers that you would give to those, and catch yourself if you find yourself talking for too long.
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