Key topics to cover in an investor presentation:
1. Company introduction: Venture Capital and Private Equity funds don’t invest in companies or technologies – they invest in people. That means you! Therefore the initial section of the investment presentation must present to the prospective investors that you and your team can execute the plan – present your experience and expertise and what makes you a great team.
2. Mission statement: Start-up’s should use one sentence to state their goal. Don’t be afraid to be bold – you are expected to, but keep it short and avoid generalized statements. More mature companies, company presentations to private equity funds, should include a short description of the company’s business and positioning.
3. Pain and value proposition: whether it is a technological edge, a strong client base or amazing manufacturing power – both start-ups and mature companies should state their value proposition in a clear (preferably visual) manner. Very often (particularly in the event of a startup) it is recommended to introduce the value proposition slide with a preliminary slide describing the specific market failure you address.
4. The product/solution/service: investor presentations should include 2-3 slides describing your specific offering. When presenting technological solutions, it is important to consider the technical aptitude of the audience ahead of time – investment presentation delivered to financial oriented audience should cover your relative advantages, but shouldn’t be too specific on technical subjects
5. The market and competition: describe your market and competitors honestly in 2-5 slides. Do not try to underplay your competition, investors see many venture capital presentations and may have met with your competition… In mature companies, investment presentations may contain references to the company’s status in the form of a Porter 5 forces model analysis.
6. Business Model: a venture capital presentation delivered by a start up company needs to convince that the company has a solid business model that will empower actual gains.
7. Case study/Client base: a VC presentation can be empowered by actual proof of concept in a form of an actual client or (preferably in many cases) a canned demo. In an investor presentation aimed at raising funds from private equity, a description of current client base is important, as it is typically the major asset the company holds.
8. SWAT analysis (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats): this slide is important in mature company’s analysis. Nevertheless, it can also be useful in certain VC presentation cases
9. Financials: the message delivered in this section changes from private equity and venture capital presentation. In the case of a start-up, the company should prove that it can gain significant cash flow from its activity. Mature companies need to provide further information beyond future cash flow analysis, as this information is needed for the company valuation. This additional information can include balance analysis, changes in working capital etc.
10. Summary: provide one slide describing your offering. Remember to emphasize the top key issues you want investors to remember from your venture capital presentation
10 Top Rules to Simplify Your Message to Investment Firms
1. Do your homework – Need to prepare ahead of time and learn as much as you can about the prospective investors, their background, focus areas any particular interest areas, etc’ Any such information could come in handy during the investment presentation
2. Less is more I – limit the number of slides in your investor presentation. 12 is the “golden number”, but certain venture capital presentations may be as long as 20 slides (depending on the length of time available and content in each slide). This number doesn’t include a full set of alternative backup slides that you would use to address any specific Q&A during your investment presentation.
3. Less is more II – Each slide should contain one, clear point
4. Start with the big picture – Avoid being bogged down in details at the beginning of your investor presentation.
5. Avoid jargon and technical terminology that might not be clear to your entire audience
6. Use graphics – A picture is worth a thousand words. Graphics are especially important in conveying new ideas and concepts
7. Make sure your graphics are clear and relevant. Overwhelming graphics may distract the listener from the main idea and unclear graphics with long learning curve may leave your investor baffled.
8. Less is more III – Avoid wordy slides and small fonts. Initial investor presentations should deliver a clear and simplified message. Say what you came to say, don’t make your investor read it.
9. Spare them the details – it is a venture capital presentation, not a white paper!
10. Use “bottom line” conclusions on your slides
11. Make a clear distinction between investor presentation to be delivered to an audience and handouts. The handout can be longer and contain more details in each slide but the venture capital presentation should focus on your bottom line only.
Key Guidelines for the Successful Delivery of an Investment Presentation BE YOURSELF! The key to delivering your message effectively is being as open and natural as you can be. Your message will be assimilated best if you fill free. So don’t have to bother worrying about how representative you are.
Having said that, here are some useful tips that might help your oral investor presentation but remember – use them wisely! Don’t impose gestures on yourself if you feel it is unnatural for you!
1. Delivering the message: a. Use your own words to give relevance to the content on each slide. Don’t read from the slides – it will bore your audience and they can read for themselves. b. Graphics will only last you that long – don’t overuse it and avoid staying on a graphical slide for too long. c. Do not move forward in your slides if you are still discussing the previous one. Doing so will distract your listeners. d. Know the message you intend to deliver in each slide – don’t drift off the subject e. Avoid telling jokes unless they are completely tied to the subject area
2. Eye contact: a. Individualization: create a personal atmosphere by personally approaching each attendee b. Avoid talking to one person most of the time. This frequent mistake may cause you to lose your audience! Make sure you connect to the audience c. Avoid looking at the screen for more than a quick glance d. Establish eye contact with each attendee before you approach him/her e. Pause after you deliver your idea. Use silence as a tool to create confidence and credibility. Pausing will also allow your listeners time to digest the data you’ve just delivered f. Observe your audience reaction at all time – use it to detect and avoid confusion
3. Posture and Gesturing: a. Let your arms fall naturally to your sides and avoid bent elbows b. Balance your weight on both legs and avoid shifting from side to side c. Don’t hide your hands – use them to assist in delivering your ideas d. Avoid clasped hands
4. Movement: a. Keep your movement random, but remember to use it for a purpose (to illustrate an idea on the screen, to a person etc.) b. As you walk avoid looking at the floor c. In you move towards someone, make sure that you created eye contact before you start moving.
5. Vocal Power: a. Vary your rate of speech and alternate between fast and slow pace b. Don’t speak to yourself – make sure you are loud enough to be heard by the entire room c. Try not to mumble during your venture capital presentation.