Few appearances will test your ability to communicate well more than the investor presentation. Doing your homework, settling on strategy, developing messages, honing a pitch and delivering it well, will take time and a lot of practice. However, the judgment of your performance will be swift. Your audience will decide within the opening minute of your pitch, whether they want to hear more.
With so much at stake, there is simply no room for error on the basics. Investors won’t be sold on a good idea poorly presented. However powerful your product or idea, your presentation must be targeted to this very specific audience to be successful. Keep these basics in mind when preparing for your investor presentation:
- Where’s the beef? It’s simply not enough to explain your product or idea. Investors want to know whether that product or idea presents a worthwhile market opportunity for them. You must show you understand this potential and have done your homework well enough to be able to describe it from their point of view.
- Know the lay of the land: Know what others are doing in your field and how your idea or product stacks up to the competition. Who are your competitors, and what makes your product unique in comparison to them?
- Short and succinct: Investors will not invest in something they cannot understand or explain easily to others. No matter how complex or sophisticated your idea is, you simply have to be able to talk about it in a way that anyone, even those outside your field, can understand.
- Confidence is catching: Enthusiasm and confidence are essential in convincing investors of the need and worth of your idea. Hone and practice your pitch as much as possible to nail this one.
- Present like a pro: Keep your pitch short and powerful with a clear flow and a logical progression. Don’t forget to close the deal with a call to action and a clear “ask” about what you’ll need financially to make this investment a success for all.
Remember to let your passion and your confidence shine through. Invest in your presentation and your investors are more likely to invest in you.
Aileen Pincus is founder of The Pincus Group, providing communications training worldwide.