Situation: The CEO of a specialty company that is a leader in their market asked the group to review the company presentation. The members of the group were asked to put themselves in the place of a potential customer or investor. How do you improve your company presentation?
Advice from the CEOs:
- Don’t assume that the audience has a sophisticated understanding either of the company’s market or its technology. In any pitch either to a new prospect or for funding there will be individuals in the audience who are not experts. The pitch needs to deliver a message that any listener can easily translate to any colleague.
- Give brief examples from the experience of current customers to make the technology and its advantages concrete.
- What is the problem that the company solves?
- State up front: What is the pain – why is it there? How does the company’s solution address this pain? What’s the impact?
- Show market potential and explain why the company’s solution will be a home run.
- What makes the company’s solution unique and gives it a sustainable advantage?
- Assume Ignorance – KISS – Keep It Simple Silly!
- The presentation should be high level, easy to understand, and crystal clear in 5 minutes.
- Establish credibility by summarizing current success and list the names of current customers.
- For presentations to investors have ready answers for the following questions:
- How the funding sought accelerate development, and what is the expected return that this will produce?
- Assure that timelines are realistic, particularly for a ground-breaking technology.
- Do not be vague in answers to questions like “what is your market share?” Answers must be crisp and believable. If additional documentation is required to validate company estimates have a back-up slide in the presentation to address this. Keep the explanation in the back-up slide simple, even if the analysis is complex.
- Add an expectation of return on investment. What equity will the company give for an investment of $X. State the company’s pre-money valuation as a believable number. Then give an estimated 3-year post money valuation with $X investment. Investors will discount anything number given but will not want a range.