Investors are experts on Powerpoint presentations -- they've seen thousands of them.
(article continues below)
But unfortunately, most of the presentations they see aren't very good. Too often, they are weak, poorly structured, and ineffective presentations of an otherwise flawless business plan.
Although there are a few exceptions, meaningful Powerpoint presentations generally follow the same structure are the business plan. As you prepare the deck, you'll need to make sure that each of the critical areas in your business plan has its own slide and the information you include in the presentation is consistent with the information contained in the business plan.
But that's not all you should worry about. Here are some other points to consider when preparing Powerpoint decks for VC presentations.
- Structure it like a pitch. A business plan presentation is a pitch. Instead of selling products or services, you're selling your company to potential investors. If you have a sales background, structure your Powerpoint presentation like a sales pitch. If you don't have a sales background, get help from someone who does.
- Start with a problem and a solution. Like any effective sales pitch, the first slide of your business plan presentation should identify a problem. This problem is the reason your company exists and conveniently leads into the second slide, i.e. the explanation of why your company can solve the problem better than anyone else.
- Follow a logical order. Follow a logical order when you organize your Powerpoint deck, moving investors from (1) why your company exists, to (2) how you do what you do, to (3) what's in it for them.
- Use graphs vs. tables. A well-written business plan is full of facts, figures, and financial data. But since your Powerpoint presentation is more than a simple reiteration of your business plan, you need to present numbers in a more visually appealing way – and that means relying on graphs instead of tables whenever possible.
- Build toward the ask. The last slide in your Powerpoint deck has to be the "ask", the moment you clearly describe what you are requesting from you investors. Investment offer details are part of it, but you should also use this slide to identify any non-financial participation you are requesting from key investors.