Currently, I’m a consultant for the founder of a start-up company who wants to develop a compelling presentation to attract investors. He began to list his experience starting with where he went to school. This was his first mistake. The next sentences followed the same path, listing various accomplishments. Nothing he said made me feel anything about him. That is because lists don’t tell a story.

The very first words must be personal, so the potential investor can immediately begin to develop an idea about the person behind the company and whether the person can be trusted with a large sum of someone else’s money.

“Do you recall the moment when you knew your idea could solve a problem?” I asked. He told me a long story about his first job, and what he wanted that didn’t exist yet. He described the prototype he built in his basement. Eventually, he patented his idea.

This man admitted he has a tendency to babble. I continued to ask questions, and typed out several pages as he told his story. A few lines stood out. Certain sentences moved the story forward and created a distinct picture in my mind. Those were the ones I highlighted.

He needed a solid, concise story to begin his presentation and he needed to be the hero. In 5 sentences, we were able to craft his personal story to emphasize his creativity, determination, resourcefulness and perseverance. Memorizing the five lines helped him to feel more confident about making a powerful impact. And, it prevented him from babbling. This confidence moved the needle from investors who were on the fence to ones who wrote the check.

If you want to develop a stronger story to attract the right investors for you, apply these techniques:

  • Type: Write out the long version of your story. Reveal as many details as possible.

  • Edit: Cut out the parts that don’t develop the story and move the story forward.

  • Highlight: Find the sentences that create a picture and describe you well.

  • Feature: Craft those sentences to emphasize your unique skill set and what makes you the right person to trust and support.

    Share your ‘elevator pitch’ or your presentation opening, and let me help you develop it into a story that builds rapport, inspires trust and features your strengths, and what makes you stand out among the competition.

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