Most investors don’t read lengthy business plans. When they receive them they file them in the trash. They are time crunched, overrun with pitches and often have short attention spans. So delivering your message and information in a concise and attention grabbing way, is critical.
This means your pitch arsenal should typically comprise of a 10-15 slide pitch deck with minimal text and a 1-2 page executive summary. You should also be deploying effective elevator and high concept pitches.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that shorter is easier. As a general rule, it’s always more difficult to tell a story in a concise, effective manner than it is to tell it a lengthier fashion.
A famous exchange between Mark Twain and his publisher illustrates the point well. Twain’s publisher contacted him, asking for two-page short story in two days. Twain replied,
“No can do two pages, two days. Can do 30 pages, two days. Need 30 days to do two pages.”
Time strapped entrepreneurs often underestimate how long the creation process takes. Being concise and clear is one of the hardest communication skills to master. Be prepared to set aside days and weeks, creating and perfecting your pitch and you’ll be following a path well- trodden by the likes of Steve Jobs, Bill Clinton and other world class presenters.