I’ve been speaking with a lot of entrepreneurs and they all have the same question. How do you package your ideas into a compelling presentation? Creating an investable story is an art form. As a budding entrepreneur or corporate executive, I’m sure you’ve been tasked to put together a presentation at one time or another. For some, it is your lifeline– especially if you are pitching an idea for funding. In my career, I’ve worked with hundreds of brilliant CEOs and have the ability to recognize what is an investable story and what gets lost in complex messaging. I’ve been able to identify some of the most common pitfalls that even well-informed CEOs and executives happen to miss in 90% of their presentations.
So what are some of the must-have items? How can you properly convey your enthusiasm to your audience? How can you get potential investors excited about your idea?
Here are 5 Tips on Creating a Compelling Presentation
- Simple Tagline: You know what you’re trying to build, but your audience doesn’t. Which is why, front and center, you need to spell this out and keep it simple. You would be surprised how many times I’ve gone through a presentation and not understand the purpose until mid-way or until Q&A—that meant all the content in-between is wasted on the reader. By articulating the mission statement or the objective upfront, you are building the narrative properly from the jump.
- Investment Thesis – What are the key takeaways you want your audience to walk away with? Typically this slide should pull together all the previous ideas into one succinct summary. What is your strategy? What is driving your growth in widgets? What are your competitive advantages?
- Competitive Analysis– You may have a great story but even the most niche businesses face competition. When you proactively talk about the competitive landscape, your audience will appreciate it. It also shows that you’ve done proper research and fully understand the market. Having a comp chart that highlights peer valuations allows you to highlight where you think your company is worth.
- Market Opportunity– You will be surprised by how many presentations that lack data on market opportunity. This is a chance for you to cite statistics and get people excited! For example, if you’re a digital media company, talk about ad spending in the next 5-10 years. Are you communicating and capturing the overall macro growth prospects? Don’t just say something is worth $40 billion dollars– make sure to cite legitimate sources, analysts reports, etc.
- Executive Management Team– This one is important. I’ve spoken to thousands of investors over the past decade and more than half of them have told me that they invest in the management team. Therefore it’s so crucial to be able to talk about the stewardship and why they have the ability to hit a homerun. Many times, I find these slides plagued with too much data, making it hard to read. Highlighting your team’s capabilities and accomplishments in bullet point form has proven to be most effective. Believe it or not, management teams with photos attached help form a connection to your audience. Having a face to the name will make a world of a difference. Also, keep these to two slides—max.
- Investment Summary– Conclusion – After telling a story, you need to have an impactful ending. We’re taught early on that everything needs a proper ending. The same goes for your presentation. Tie it all together in the end and create a warm fuzzy reminder why you’re story is compelling and why the time to invest is NOW! 5-8 Bullet points is enough to get that story across. Also it should be the last slide you end with so that during Q&A, while you’re answering questions, investors have several minutes to get these points ingrained in their noggins.
Did you enjoy these tips? Let us know if you have suggestions on delivering an awesome presentation. Please send us your comments as we would love to hear from you!