investor presentation and company presentation by hagaylevy

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									Key Guidelines for
Successful Investor

1. Introduction to investor presentations

2. Inside the Mind of investors

     a. Table – Investors due diligence process

3. Presentation preparation

4. Structure of Presentations

5. Making Tailored Presentations (Versioning)

6. How to succeed in presentations
With the increasing pace and competitiveness of business ventures, an effective investor
presentation is one of the critical success factors in the fund raising process.

Presentations are both an art and a science as they are critical to getting the story in place
and telling your vision. In today's busy business environment, investors don’t have the
time and focus to read lengthy business plans. In many cases it all comes down to a 10 or
20 slides deck that the entrepreneur gets to present to the busy investors or in some
cases the investors would require the entrepreneur to send the slides deck for them to
review ahead of time.

A presentation serves a very different purpose from a written business plan report – it is
far more than just another vehicle for information. A presentation allows an audience to
gain knowledge by watching, listening and being inspired by the presenter. Smart
entrepreneurs and company managers would want to influence the way investors feel
about a certain message with a careful mix of content and delivery. The investor
presentation essentially becomes the doorway to the investor, the primary tool that gets
the entrepreneur the first ability to articulate the message.
The top 5 reasons of why presentations fail:

Lack of seriousness from the entrepreneur - just putting some slides together doesn’t
work. This can happen when you convert an essay which is not suitable for investment
presentation, without carefully considering the needs of the audience, the flow, the
context and how it all meshes together

Lack of focus on the message - The presenter needs to carefully think what are the key
points and messages articulated in the presentation. It is most important to preliminary
determine what would make the audience seriously consider making an investment or at
least continue in a due diligence process Furthermore, it is important to develop a
concise and focused message that would help win over the attention of the audience and
allow you to get your key messages across.

Customization - Using a generic presentation that is not tailored to the unique
characteristics of the company and the investment opportunity and even to the specific
meeting would undermine the quality of your presentation

Inappropriate structure and length - too long & detailed slides loses the audience
attention and interest.

Flow - There needs to be some build up to make sure the audience goes out with the
desired takeaway.

Successful presenters understand what are the key points that need to be communicated
and who they are communicating with. A goal of an investment presentation is to
communicate the company story clearly and to create excitement and interest.

A good presentation would be characterized as a short, relevant and focused
 Keys for an effective Presentation
 What is the point - Early Apple employee and famous author and investor Guy Kawasaki
  says in his book “The Art of The Start” that you need to be able to explain the message
  in 30 seconds or less as venture capitalists have very short attention span. Therefore,
  you need a clear idea of what is the objective and the call for action.

   Targeted Versioning - The presentation you present to an investor is different from the
    handout that you leave him with or investment pitch you might send prior to the

   Less is More - slides should deliver the message very clearly. Graphics might support
    the presenter as they replace lengthy textual descriptions

   Pay Attention to the Flow - Get your point across right away. A similar message should
    be delivered in 5 minutes, 30 minutes or one hour the differences between these
    presentations would be in the level of detail and specific examples used but all should
    be characterized with a similar message. Eliminates redundancy and be efficient

   Using visuals -– helps to have a good mix of visuals and text to make the right point in
    every slide. Visuals (i.e. photos and captions) are very helpful in “boring” topics such as
    legal. In fact, photos are preferred as opposed to clip art images as they make it more
    realistic to the audience. Don’t use a graphic that doesn’t make sense.

   Headline for each slide is mandatory and needs to address the key points

   A dedicated slide set - a very focused deck of slides that fits the purpose of the meeting
    coupled with lots of backup slides that will facilitate any specific questions.
Inside the Mind of Investors
As a key part of the presentation strategy is to research the audience, it is important for
you to understand the mindset of investors, in order to communicate your messages
more effectively and improve your chances of achieving your objectives from the
presentation. The purpose of this section is not to portray a snapshot of the venture
capital or professional world, there is plenty of literature to address that subject, but to
provide you with an overview about the mindset of investors and what they are typically
looking for in presentations so you would be able to plan accordingly.

Different types of investors - there are several types of investors that are typically
characterized by the stage of the company seeking funding. We will review the major
categories and how to relate to each when presenting your investment opportunity:

- Private investors

- Venture capital funds

- Late stage / private equity funds

 Private investors - as typically noted as angels. These are typically well funded
 individuals that are seeking to invest relatively small amount of funding $25K-$100K as
 they seek to diversify their portfolios. These investors typically enter very early in the
 lifecycle of the company when the entrepreneur is seeking seed funding to help get
 started and all they can pitch is a concept and a dream. Furthermore, private investors
 typically have very limited domain knowledge of the company space. Therefore, the
 presentation to a private investor would be less formal and typical very straight rough.

 Venture Capital Funds - Venture capital funds are sophisticated professional investors.
 They primarily seek to enter early and will pour money that would fund the company’s
 product development and initial go-to-market. Venture capital funds typically would
 invest in the first or second investment round and would seek some validation for the
 investment opportunity. The validation of the market would be from early revenues,
 customer interviews, experts etc’. Typically venture capitalists would have some
 general understanding of the market in which the company operates under. The
 objective of an investor presentation to venture capital is to provide a professional view
of the company’s prospects especially the founding management team, technology,
opportunity and market landscape.

The following is an investment checklist that a typical venture capital fund evaluates an

   Management team – relevant industry and operational experience

   Well defined market potential and budgeted

   Must have vs. nice to have – customer feedback

   Competition – clear sustainable differentiation vs. direct competition and potential
    market entrants. Is this a new paradigm? What is the degree of innovation in
    technology (barriers)

   Cash required to general availability of the product

   Sales and capital required to positive cash flow

   Strong deep funded co-investors
Figure 1 - An actual venture capital fund short report on an investment opportunity
(used to review prospective investment opportunities)

Venture capital firms are seeking capable entrepreneurs that they can build a strong
foundation for a prosperous business relationship. They are looking for founders that
open minded, hard working and are flexible. Besides that the opportunity has to check
out in terms size, uniqueness, technology, barriers to entry, competition. However we
can't stress how important are the personal factors and it is important to come out in
the presentation as this is the key opportunity to make long lasting impression.
Late stage / private equity funds

Late stage funds typically seek investment opportunities with relatively more mature
companies that already have some significant market validation in terms of revenues.
Typically these are larger investment rounds as these are companies that are raising
more significant funding to help grow their business, enter new markets and build their
execution. Late stage funds are primarily private equity funds. These are large financial
institutions that look for opportunities to relatively short investment cycles which would
turn the company over in a year or two via IPO or M&A. The investment professional
working for those firms are less savvy about technology and are more financial oriented.

As a presenter to these kinds of firms, it is very important to present a very coherent
financial view of the company operations and ability to get profitability relatively.
Presentation Preparation
Preparation is a key factor in order to make sure that the presentation is informative,
inspiring and motivating to prospective investors. Successfully presenting means to
carefully examine what you want to say and how you would convey that information
from the perspective of the audience.

Step 1: Identify the need: It is very important to figure out what are the prospective
investors or audience of a presentation is looking to get out of the session. In many
cases investors already have some general idea about your domain but they come to
learn about the company manager's perspective. Good presenters understand that the
audience is not looking to learn in context not in full detail. Their context is typically
"would I want to invest my time and money in these people".

Step 2: Researching the audience: It is very helpful to get to know the audience. Do
some research on who will be present in the meeting? Go to the firm's web site to learn
about the partners and other investment professional. Learn about their background
and interest areas. It is very important to do your homework so you would be able to
get as much as an accurate picture prior to the meeting. Several key questions to guide
your research:

      Who will be listening? Partners, associates, background, etc

      What do they already know? IS there a common understanding to build on?

      What are their expectations? Will they hold any preconceived notions about the

      What do I want them to learn? What do I expect them to do with that

      How can I accomplish my goals to progress in the process?

Step 3: Focusing your message: as there is a limit to the information you can load on
your audience, it is critical to identify the essential information you would want your
audience to understand and remember. It helps to have a core message that you would
want them to take away one should remember that when it comes to an oral
presentation "Less is More" rules. Simplify and make your key points emphatically and
repeatedly and don’t try to be too subtle or clever. Always look for the overlap from
what you want to say and what your audience wants to hear. Simplicity takes more
forethought and planning on your part because you have to think very hard about what
to include and what can be left out. As a simple exercise - If your audience could
remember only three things about your presentation that you believe are key in their
investment decision, what would you want it to be?


   2. ________________________________________________________________________

   3. ________________________________________________________________________

Step 4: The Presentation

The initial presentation serves a very key purpose in the investment process. In many
instances it serves the investors to qualify the people involved and the investment
opportunity. The presenter must leverage it as key opportunity to sell the audience. The
key here is to get to the point quickly. The better you can meet the needs of your
audience, the more successful the presentation will be. You need to engage your
audience by addressing what they want to know quickly.
Structure of Presentations
When structuring the formal presentation it is useful to request guidance on what is
expected in terms of time, length, content, discussion.

General structure of an Investor Presentation:

The introduction - The opening is very important in order to gain the focus and attention
of the audience. There are several methods to structure the openings. Keep in mind that
you don’t have a second chance to make a first impression so it helps sometimes to start
with a gambit such as using a factoid, retro/perspective, analogy, anecdote or a
quotation. All have to be very relevant and targeted. After that Gambit, you would want
to proceed with an elevator pitch. The elevator pitch is basically an exercise that forces
you to “sell” your message in 30-45 seconds

The body - Going into detail with specific arguments of the investment opportunity. It is
important to keep a balance of delivering well thought facts, analysis and comments but
not to overload with details, it helps to focus on the important aspects. It also helps to
provide a bottom line on specific slides as a sort of a summary point that emphasize
what is important here to take away.

The conclusion - Reminder to the audience of the key points and a summary of the
investment opportunity.

It is important to always use a headline that relates to the point that you are making in
the slide/presentation. It helps to support with visuals as they are very effective at
making an impact for the key points.

The following are some general guidelines to keep in mind when structuring the
presentation (both for slide presentation and handouts):

      Keep it simple – The slides are supporting the presenter. They are not the “star
       of the show”. Don’t let your message and your ability to tell a story gets derailed
       by slides that are unnecessarily complicated and busy.
      Limit bullet points & text - (described in more detailed in the delivery section)

      Limit transition and builds - object builds should be used to make a specific
       point. Some animation is valuable but stick to the most subtle and professional.

      Use high quality graphics - Visuals are great to make the point

      Use appropriate slide elements (i.e. pie chart, graphs, tables etc’)

      Using colors and fonts well - Color evokes feeling. It is emotional. The right color
       can help persuade and motivate. The fonts you use must be readable from
       everywhere in the room. Studies indicate that appropriate colors and font's
       usage can increase interest and improve learning comprehension and retention.

      Using video or audio – when appropriate, using videos to show concrete
       examples promotes active cognitive processing, which is the natural way people
       learn and helps to increase the audience interest level

To structure an investor presentation effectively, you need to choose a framework that
is sympathetic to its content. For instance, if you are selling on a concept (as in the case
of an early stage opportunity), it works to include case studies to emphasize your points.
If you are selling more of a data driven (as in the case with a more mature company with
revenues and market feedback) use bullet list and tables.

The following is a general framework we recommend to follow in investor

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

4.      The product/solution/service: investor presentations should include 2-3 slides
describing your specific offering. When presenting a technological solution, 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 company
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 company presentation.

Other elements it works to include in some investor presentations include:

       Features and benefits (product section) - typically working through the elements
        of a product and explaining the positive outcomes each one can generate.

       Stories and case studies - presenting your arguments through a narrative.
        People (including investors) love hearing stories, making this a compelling and
        forceful presentation method. It is important to keep the story simple and then
        explain the takeaway points.

       Compare and contrast - Put your material in context by comparing it with
        something else, typically that would be a product or concept alternative or
        competition. If you are going to suggest the best way forward, be prepared to
        back it up with data. When comparing numbers it is best to use a graph as
        opposed to just presenting numbers.

       Timeline - A chronological structure is useful for showing progressive
        developments. Its linear structure is intuitive and easy to understand. To avoid
        seeming one-dimensional, ensure your material has both purpose and pace.

       Financials - when demonstrating some financial calculation (such as in the P&L
        or market forecast charts) it is useful to demonstrate with the PowerPoint build
        tool and using arrows to show direction.
Making Tailored Presentations (Versioning)
It is very critical to design the presentation based on the audience, setting of the
meeting and the objectives of the meeting. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of
using a one version for different types of meetings. It is imperative to design and
customize presentation based on the audience, the perception and the objective of the
meeting. With the packet that a user receives from Investmentslides users gets a very
large pool of slides so that they will be able to design the right set for each specific

Flow of the presentation: flow is critical as in many cases as you want to build the thesis
and make sure that you keep your audience focused with you with a very high level of
interest. In addition, the flow must be subject to the time available as time is usually the
main resource you have to play within a given presentation. In some instances as a
presenter you are faced with various instances to deliver a pitch, it could be an investor
that has only scheduled 30 minutes, or someone that is very late or has interruptions. In
all occasions you have to adjust accordingly and focus the pitch. Generally, a good story
can be delivered in 5 minutes or 15, 30 and an hour. The core message should stay the
same as a foundation and when you have longer time you must use that extended time
to enhance the message you want to deliver and provide proof and support.

A rule of thumb would be to budget about 2 minutes per slide and then allow very
sufficient time for Q&A (like a third of the meeting allocated time).

The following are typical scenarios an entrepreneur would be faced in a fund raising
process with applicable presentation format and structure that would fit the particular

1.      1st meeting face-to-face presentation

Setting: This is a presentation that will be given to an investor for a first time. Assuming
that there is no or very limited familiarity about the company and the investment
opportunity, it is important to establish credibility of the presenter and then provide a
full set of the investment opportunity.

•       Company Name – Business mission

•       Agenda

•       At a glance

•       Concept / company business

•       Milestones and achievements

•       Team

•       The pain / value proposition

•       Market opportunity

•       Product technology slides (offering, architecture, roadmap, IP)

•       Business model

•       Go-to-market strategy

•       Customer – pipeline (as relevant – for an early stage can be

•       Pricing

•       Case studies

•       Competitive positioning

•       Barriers of entry

•       Financials

•       Closing summary
Short 1st presentation (Face-to-face - very limited time)

In this case you as presenter would have very limited time constraints. In this instance
you have to carefully analyze what are the most important points you want to highlight
to the audience and only concentrate on those. Important key here is the takeaways
that you leave the audience. In this case we would usually suggest limiting a
presentation to carefully selecting up to 10 slides that consist of:

•      Company – about/ at a glance / team

•      Concept – value proposition

•      Market (only if a large market is not obvious)

•      Product

•      Business model

•      1 important case study

•      Competitive landscape

•      Closing summary with key takeaways summarized
Short 1st presentation teaser (sent by e-mail)

In this instance, the prospective investor would like to take a look at a presentation prior
to a meeting or in order to decide if this investment opportunity is interesting enough to
warrant a meeting. Many company owners make the mistake offering the complete
story which could open many issues up which you don’t have the opportunity to defend
in front of a very critical time conserving investor. Therefore, in this instance we find it
very important to offer just a teaser of the basic story without going to much in to
details as the objective is really about getting the meeting. It is a good idea in many
cases to be very bold so that you will raise the investor's curiosity


•       Company at a glance - team (be very bold)

•       Concept – value proposition

•       Very general product overview

•       Some example or highlight customers

•       Business model

Handouts at end of meeting

A written handout of presentation can be used to emphasize clarity and expanded detail
and requires a very careful job of writing and editing. A written handout is preferable
over just a printout of the slides presentation as it is far less likely to misunderstand
without the physical presence of the presenter. A good way to use your presentation as
a handout is to add annotations to the presentation slides and then distribute the
handout at the end of the meeting. You will not feel compelled to cram every slide full
of details.
Presentation at events (frontal very short 5-10 minutes)

In this case the objective is to spark some interest from the audience. You typically don’t
know who specifically will be present at the meeting and you want to encourage any
type of prospective investor to setup the first face to face meeting with you. In this case
you will need to prepare an handout that will consist of a couple of pages containing a
description of your general offering, market, business status and relative advantages.

Some general comments

In many cases it makes a lot of sense for a company that has achieved some valuable
milestone to change the flow of the regular presentation, for instance if the company
already has customers, it might make sense to offer customer case studies very early in
the presentation.

If the company has no customers yet but has achieved a breakthrough milestone in the
product development phase, it might make a lot of sense to cover that early as well.
How to succeed in presentations
The following are the best practices for the successful delivery of an investment
presentation. These are based on years of experience working with numerous

The most important rule is to 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.
Investors want to fund people that they can rely on and form a mutual trusted

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:

        Show your passion and connect with the audience

        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

        Graphics will only last you that long – don’t overuse it and avoid staying on a
         graphical slide for too long

        Do not move forward in your slides if you are still discussing the previous one.
         Doing so will distract your listeners

        Know the message you intend to deliver in each slide – don’t drift off the subject

        Avoid telling jokes unless they are completely tied to the subject area

        Try to be as close to the screen as possible, in the same plane so you would not
         split the focus of audience. However you would want to be at the edge of the
         screen so you will not block the view

        Use a remote control device that will allow you to move freely

2.       Eye contact – The body and mind follow the eyes
        Individualization: create a personal atmosphere by personally approaching each
         attendee. Create one to one conversation

        As you move from one person to another connect solidly with your eyes before
         you begin to speak. 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

        Avoid looking at the screen for more than a quick glance

        Establish eye contact with each attendee before you approach him/her

        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

        Observe your audience reaction at all time – use it to detect and avoid confusion

3.       Posture and Gesturing:

        Let your arms fall naturally to your sides and avoid bent elbows

        Balance your weight on both legs and avoid shifting from side to side

        Don’t hide your hands - use them to assist in delivering your ideas

        Avoid clasped hands

4.       Movement:

        Keep your movement random, but remember to use it for a purpose (to
         illustrate an idea on the screen, to a person etc.)

        As you walk avoid looking at the floor

        If you move towards someone, make sure that you created eye contact before
         you start moving

5.       Vocal Power:

        Vary your rate of speech and alternate between fast and slow pace
      Don’t speak to yourself – make sure you are loud enough to be heard by the
       entire room

      Do not mumble

6. Repetition works

      Be nice, but keep in mind your sole purpose - raising interest in your company,
       and preparing the ground for more in-depth meetings

      At all times you want to make sure that you are courteous gracious and

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