Well maybe I should throw out a few thoughts on the subject of presenting to investors. However, I’m going to start on things you should do before the presentation so that you are better prepared.
First, before the scheduled meeting find out which investors will be attending the session and then do a little research to find out more about them and what types of investments they make and see if any invest in your type of business.
Most people don’t understand that it is perfectly acceptable to call a couple of days ahead of time to see if the presentation is still on schedule and ask who will be attending. If this is an investment firm, you can also ask the relationship of the attendees to the firm. Even if this is a meeting where a number of companies will be presenting, you should always be able to talk with the organizers and find out the same information.
Once you do a little investigating about the attendees, you should also be able to tweak your presentation to better match a specific investor that you believe will be attending.
As part of your presentation, try to restrain yourself from making a demonstration an integral part of your pitch. In my experience, these fail more often than work and wastes precious time that could be used to better explain your business proposition. If you absolutely can’t resist the urge, offer to demonstrate after the sessions, on a break or some other time.
Another thing that should be part of your pre-pitch routine is to go through your presentation and make sure that everything hangs together. For example, if you quote market share numbers, make sure you specify the source. Also, make sure all the financial information is connected throughout.
Here is an example, one presenter recently identified the need to hire an Executive Team yet did not list these costs as part of the Uses of Funds, nor did his projected income statement include the finding and ongoing salary costs. Consequently, any projected profitability was in jeopardy but, more importantly, was just sloppy. Once you give an investor a reason to question one thing, they begin to question everything.
As a final chick, go through your presentation and ask yourself on each slide “Is there anything on the slide that might give an investor a reason to say No?” Remember, for most investors, once they say No it generally never becomes Yes. This is your time to shine; don’t screw it up by not spending extra time making sure your presentation is squeaky clean!