Without a well-thought out, coherent “Read Me Pitch” — otherwise known as an Investment Summary, you will struggle to clearly communicate your objectives and business strategies to investors. In addition, your “Read Me Pitch” essentially acts as an outline for you to develop and expand the other elements of your pitch upon. If you attempt to build a slide deck without this roadmap, you’ll spend way too much time iterating, moving graphics around and getting lost in the details.
Plus, investors have short attention spans. Another benefit of your “Read Me Pitch” is that it is designed to be emailed or printed, to get investors just interested enough to take the next step, which is meeting with you in person.
Watch this video to learn more about how to create an effective Investment Summary:
This is our basic learning framework. You start with this. The way we do it is it’s sort of a term sheet type of approach, like a two to three pager. And you’re just basically going through the key concepts that are important and you’re writing them out. Just by forcing yourself to write them out, sometimes you realize that you really have this figured out. Then force yourself to get it down to four sentences or less or three sentences or less. You know, the old Mark Twain quote is “I would’ve written you a short letter, but I didn’t have enough time. So I wrote you a long one instead.” It takes a lot of effort to settle down. You do all that and then you go and you meet with your mentors and advisors and you walk through all those key business points that by the way are the talking points to your a whole pitch and the basis of your slide deck later.
So this thing is really an outline. You think about writing a college paper. When you would sit down and write an outline first, and then you would start writing the paper based on the outline. You break it down. That’s what you’re really doing here. And you’re getting a lot of feedback right there. Right? Think about the inefficient way of doing it. Start with your slide deck. Let’s start iterating with your slide deck, with graphics and stuff. Make it really slow and painful so that before you get very far, you’re totally exhausted and you’re burned out and then you don’t have a good pitch. And then by the way, you don’t have a read me pitch anyway because you’re never going back.
So you start with this. That’s what we do. We put a lot of emphasis on this part. The nice thing about this as well is you can get REDS with your mentor’s advisors on it, redline via email. Now, usually when I do this, I don’t even talk to it’s like, “I’m just going to send you a redline and come back with the second version before I even talk to you.” Calvin’s a lot nicer, like will talk to them the first one. All right, now unless it’s really good, I’m just giving you a redline, but it’s an efficient way to get feedback. Ideally you want to, we tell people, “Get three different mentors and advisors to redline this.” Three times, right? Put the effort in here and that’s a really strong outline that’s going to serve you so well down the road.