Finding the right investor can be the key to taking your startup dream to the next level. Once you find yourself in front of that potential investor, make sure you are doing everything you can to present your great idea most effectively so you can make the most of every opportunity you find. Even the best of business plans can fail to secure proper funding if some of these investor presentation elements are not properly executed.
Here are 4 elements of an effective investor presentation:
1. Know Your Audience
If you were interviewing for a job, you would research the company and try to find out as much as you could about your interviewer. As a result of this research, you would customize your personal pitch and resume to the job and the interviewer. Use this same mentality when presenting to potential investors. Before your first meeting, do some research on the investors themselves, any companies or interests they represent or are affiliated with, and what types of ventures they have supported in the past.
Use this information to tailor your presentation. For example, is this a local investor looking to invest in local initiatives that are rooted in the community or perhaps this is someone with a more international focus? If your company fits their goals, make sure you point this out in your presentation and not leave it up to them to connect the dots. Does your investor have any experience or expertise in your industry or will you have to be careful to avoid using technical jargon when describing your product and the business plan? Make sure you know who you are speaking to and not accidently alienating your listener by using too much technical jargon.
2. Keep Things Simple
This is perhaps the most important element of an effective investor presentation. Keep things simple and keep in mind your ultimate goal of the presentation: secure backing for your idea. In the same way keep in mind that whoever your potential investor is, that person has one goal also: to make as much money as possible from their investment. Everything you do in your presentation must revolve around these two goals. Take out any unnecessary details and information that could bog someone down and only include information in your presentation that clearly defines what you are hoping to communicate.
Make it clear what your successes have been so far and make it clear where the company is going in the future with the aid of investment dollars. Show examples of any past investments and the returns you have already seen. Give clear ideas of your best and worst case scenarios for this next stage in the company. Make it easy for your investors to see themselves making money from their investment, do not leave them guessing about how this investment will benefit them.
3. Visualize Your Data
Show don’t tell. Instead of going on and on about how you have seen profits triple since you introduced the latest adjustment to your widget, put together a dramatic chart that shows your potential investors how your profits have skyrocketed. Instead of talking about how your sales have gone international in 20 countries over the past two years, put that information into a mapping software and let them see for themselves your impressive success.
Take your most impactful statistics and create visuals that will become cemented in your investor’s minds. Go a step further and compile powerful visuals in customized booklets for your investors to physically touch and interact with themselves. Effective presentations take advantage of the power of clean and powerful visuals and use them to support the bigger story.
4. Practice Ahead of Time
While this may go without saying, practice really does make perfect. When you are presenting in front of potential investors, you want the value of the investment, you as the face of the product, and the product itself to take center stage. Anything outside of those three things can only detract from your presentation and distract the focus away from where you need it most. Go through a checklist of any technology or tools you will be using for the presentation and be meticulous in every detail that must be executed for that day.
Make sure your tools and presentation are all working flawlessly, any electronics are charged with extra chords handy, and be prepared with any necessary backup tools. Practice the presentation until you can take someone through the pitch without any aids and within the amount of time you are allotting. Take a video of yourself presenting and look for anything that detracts from your overall message. The more comfortable you are with your presentation, the more confidence you will exude the day of the presentation.
What other elements do you think go into an effective investor presentation? Leave your ideas in the comments section below.