Presenting a business plan to potential investors is stressful for almost every entrepreneur. Even if they are convinced that their business plan is well thought out, they are always afraid that they will not be able to express the most important aspects and arouse the interest of investors in the short time allowed for the presentation. The keys to a successful presentation are prior preparation and rehearsal until your presentation is well polished. Since your credibility and the future of your future business depends on this presentation, it is important that you leave nothing to chance, from the content of your presentation to the actual presentation itself, to the theme of the slides. Find out in this guide how to make a good impression on your potential investors and lenders!
Preparing the business plan presentation
The purpose of presenting your business plan is to sell your idea to investors with a concise and engaging overview of what your company does, how it meets a consumer need and what you are looking for in terms of investment. Experienced investors are very busy and are generally not interested in a long and tedious presentation filled with irrelevant information. In some cases, experienced venture capitalists and angel investors will give a specific deadline and suggest a presentation plan. If you receive these suggestions, it is important to stick to them. If you are not so lucky, don’t panic! Be sure to create a dynamic PowerPoint presentation. Don’t be satisfied with the predefined themes in the software. You can download PowerPoint themes specially designed for professional presentations.
Here’s an idea for a plan that should help you showcase your good ideas.
Slides 1 to 3
Introduce yourself, your company and its products.
Describe your market and how you solve your customers’ problems.
Explain how your product is different from any other product on the market.
Slides 4 to 6
Determine the size of the market for your product.
Explain who your customers are.
Estimate the growth of your market in the next 3 to 5 years.
Slides 7 to 8
Demonstrate your company’s competitive strengths that will enable you to achieve exceptional revenue growth and profitability.
Present your revenue and pre-tax profit forecasts for the next 3 to 5 years.
Slides 9 and 10
Explain your marketing strategies, including distribution channels and sales strategies.
Slides 10 and following
Introduce your management team and advisory board members (in the case of a corporation).
Include one or two points about each person’s strengths and experience.
Explain how each team member contributes to the success of your business.
Reveal the total amount of capital you need.
Briefly list the major expenses.
By following this general outline and focusing on the most important information, you will answer most investors’ questions and give them the details they need to make a decision. Address only the essential points and avoid including your entire business plan in the presentation.
Too many slides can lead to information overload and investors will not remember the most important elements. Try to use a business plan in PowerPoint of about 10 to 12 slides. It is very important that you use realistic figures for your presentation. It is, therefore, essential that you do a market research before writing your business plan.
Rehearsal of the presentation
Once you’ve created the slides, practice presenting it to make sure you look professional and credible on the day of the presentation. Again, keep in mind the time limits and respect the investors’ time. Don’t forget to include time for questions in your overall presentation plan.
To get started, create a plan for your presentation by addressing the important points you want to address. Print out a copy of your overview presentation and use it to identify the key points you want to address on each slide and make additional notes on what you want to say. Creating a plan not only allows you to address all the key points, but also allows you to go beyond just reading what is on the screen, which will quickly bore the audience.
Once you have an idea of what you are going to say, rehearse your presentation with colleagues. Invite members of your management team or partners to a conference room and do a dress rehearsal of the presentation. Get their feedback on parts of the presentation that may need to be changed or clarified. Time your presentation and reduce it if necessary. Repeat the presentation several times on your side.
Make a captivating presentation
It is perfectly normal to be nervous on the day of the presentation, but make sure no one can notice. Do your best to relax and manage your emotions. Try doing some breathing or visualization exercises to clear your mind and put you in the right frame of mind. If you are well prepared and know your presentation by heart, there is no reason to be nervous and stressed. Just be yourself! Investors gauge your self-control in addition to evaluating your business plan. It is therefore in your interest to do your best to project an image of confidence and competence.
Show enthusiasm and determination. On the other hand, avoid giving the impression of being helpless or not concentrating. Speak slowly, smile, make eye contact and refer to your notes if necessary. This will impress investors with both your business and your presentation skills.