For young and experienced entrepreneurs alike, investor presentations are intimidating and scary. After all, investors like concrete numbers and specific answers. If you're not prepared for their questions, you'll end up choking on your own words and will likely ruin your chances of attracting capital. However, it doesn't have to be like this. By preparing for an investor presentation well in advance, you can put yourself in a position to succeed. Ultimately, you may turn investor presentations from a fear into strength.

Developing the Actual Presentation

Everything starts with developing the actual presentation. You'll hear a lot of differing opinions about how to order your slides, what not to say, how to incorporate visuals, which color schemes to use, etc. All of these things are arbitrary, though. Your goal--however you get there--is to pique the interest of investors and prove you're a worthy risk.

"The main goal of your presentation is to get investors to understand that you could be onto something with your business," writes entrepreneur Mkael Cho. "Focus on highlighting the sign(s) that point to this." Cho then references one of his own presentations that ended up raising $2 million. "In our case it was our traction but for your company, this sign could be an exceptional team, technology, or set of partnerships you have lined up."

Again, don't get wigged out by the order of slides. However, do focus on including--in some capacity--slides that revolve around each of the following issues:

Overview.
Team.
Problem.
Product.
Capital.
Projections.
Questions.

Again, how you order your presentation, what style you use, what information you use, and everything else is up to you. Some of the best presentations are the ones that don't follow the traditional mold. Simply use these bullet points as guideposts. Loosely following this flow will result in an organized presentation.

Choosing What to Wear

You'll be judged on your presentation and business model, not what you wear; however, it's a good idea to carefully consider the latter, as well. What you wear and how you carry yourself will have an impression on the investors you're pitching to. Keep the following tips in mind:

Location matters.
Conservative with a pop.

Mistakes You Must Avoid

Being confident in your presentation means knowing what to expect. While it's impossible to give a perfect pitch, avoiding the following mistakes will improve your chances of impressing investors:

Poor time management.
Not engaging with investors.
Making unsubstantiated claims.
Reaching the wrong valuation.

Putting it All Together

Investor presentations don't have to be intimidating. By preparing for every facet of the presentation, you can confidently pitch your idea and improve your chances of obtaining a mutually beneficial deal. From the pitch itself to what you wear, be thorough in everything you do.

 

Published on: Aug 18, 2015