They’re also difficult to get right. There is a world of difference between knowing your business inside out and being able to structure a compelling and engaging story around it.
Yet the time you spend in front of potential investors can bring lucrative returns. We’ve witnessed an immediate 10% increase in the share price of a large quoted business after a great investor presentation.
Follow our survive and thrive guide for talking to investors and you can deliver more effective fundraising presentations immediately:
Too many good fundraising opportunities get lost in boring, run-of-the-mill presentations. A great investor PowerPoint is not enough: you and your team are the presentation. So, don’t start with PowerPoint – instead start with a lot of thinking and a blank sheet of paper. Ask yourself:
Help Me With Better Investor Presentations
“It’s not supposed to be easy. If it was, then everyone would do it.”
Charles Dunstone, founder of Carphone Warehouse
The way you frame your investment story influences how a client views you. Investors need to understand why your opportunity is special, and what makes it stand out from the many other proposals they receive. What does your team do differently? What is your edge’? How will you consistently drive better results?
Successful fundraisers craft a compelling story – one that is interesting and entertaining – around their strategy, and they tell it with passion. So, what makes a compelling story? According to Forbes, the perfect selling story involves:
Investors tell us that the best fundraising presentations are the ones where they are taken on a journey with the presenters. You can achieve this by taking your narrative towards the start of your presentation – this should sound like an executive summary, not an agenda.
A simple structure – with a clear beginning, middle and end – demonstrates your command of your own story. It also helps investors quickly grasp what you do and why it works. Successful fundraisers also limit their narrative to a maximum of three key messages. Highlight the big themes that are going to have the greatest impact so that you get everyone on the same page.
Help Me With Better Investor Presentations
“The less people know, the more they yell,” says marketing guru Seth Godin. Investors find it frustrating when a fundraising presentation is a one-way broadcast and you don’t give them the opportunity to ask questions. It’s much more effective to have a conversation. Two-way communication allows for instant feedback, clarification and interaction. Successful fundraisers encourage engagement by asking – and welcoming – questions when talking to investors. For example, questions you could ask investors include:
Asking questions will also help you to read the room and understand when you need to move the fundraising presentation along. It also pays to be flexible with what you deliver. Every audience is different; use your intuition to spot when you need to spend extra time covering a specific area of your presentation, or when to move along faster.
A cohesive, well-prepared team is like a sponge cake straight out of the oven, where complementary ingredients have risen together to create something much greater than the sum of its parts.
If your team contradicts, interrupts or ignores one another, investors will doubt your credibility. Instead, your interactions should be positive and seamless. Everyone who attends the meeting needs to contribute something relevant – otherwise, why are they there? Planning beforehand who will answer which type of question helps to avoid any sensitivities.
Remember that nonverbal communication can be just as important as what is actually being said. Subtle tips for improving your body language during fundraising presentations:
Impressions are everything – investors’ perception of your team when you are with them is what matters. We’ve fixed many pitch disasters with extensive video coaching.Help Me With Better Investor Presentations
Investors get frustrated by presenters who avoid, second-guess or provide scrambled answers to questions. Remember, it is their job to ask questions and be critical. We recommend that you prepare yourself for the Q&A session as much as you do for the fundraising presentation itself.
Before talking to investors, look at your presentation objectively: what are the areas you are most likely to be challenged on? Avoid being defensive or taking criticism personally. Prepare your answers and rehearse delivering them confidently together as a team – the last thing you want is your team being surprised by each other’s answers. Again, do extensive on-camera practice to prepare your team for Q&A.
Delivering a series of fundraising presentations back-to-back can – unsurprisingly – seriously affect your energy levels. However, there are strategies you can employ to perform at your best even if it’s your sixth meeting in one day and you want to catch the last flight home:
Fundraising presentations are the ultimate first impressions test. And like all first impressions, it’s a one-time deal – there are no second chances. So it makes sense to prepare for what you’re walking into by doing your homework.
Help Me With Better Investor Presentations
A 2014 study by Qvidian revealed that teams often lose deals because they haven’t customised their content to their audience’s needs. Successful fundraisers thoroughly research each investor to better understand what’s important to them. This enables you to focus your narrative around what the investor needs, and how you can solve their unique problems.
Once your narrative is in place, it’s time to put in the hours preparing, editing and refining your fundraising presentation. No two presentations will ever be the same; the motivations and personalities of investors will always vary. Let us help you prepare – it’s could be the best investment you ever make.
The more investor-ready you are, the quicker and easier it will be to raise funds. But how do you know when you’re ready? Our new eBook, Standing Out with Investors, sets out eight questions to answer – it’s specifically about Private Equity Fund or VC Firm fundraising – but is equally relevant to other asset classes . Each question will help you identify whether you need further improvement.
The eBook is also full of practical tips, advice and feedback and will help you make immediate improvements to your investor pitches and meetings. Download it for free here.
Investors are more demanding today than ever before. Competition has increased; the barriers to convincing investors are higher. You need to do more to stand out. How you present is as important as what you present. If you want the best chance of securing investment from your fundraising presentations, talk to us.
Benjamin Ball Associates works with teams to help them impress investors.
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