How to Create a Winning Business Plan Presentation for Investors
Blog Post (with free checklist)
You need to create a business plan presentation for investors. This is also known as a pitch deck or a slideshow. In the end, it is simply a PowerPoint presentation that provides an overview of your startup to potential investors.
What’s the catch? A PowerPoint presentation sounds simple enough, but I often see entrepreneurs get hung up on this.
Before going into the details on how to craft a solid PowerPoint presentation, I’m going to talk about what a pitch deck is not.
Your Pitch Deck is NOT…
Your pitch deck is not your business plan crammed into a PowerPoint presentation. If your slides are too wordy, you need to start over. When in doubt, go for short and sweet.
Your pitch deck is also not a standalone document. It is merely an aide to your in-person presentation, not the star of the show. You shouldn’t be reading from your slides like a teleprompter, but rather glancing at the screen occasionally to reference your next point.
Another mistake I often see entrepreneurs make is stuffing countless slides into their presentation. Take care to limit the number of slides you use. You should have 15-20 slides, tops. If you’re higher than that, start condensing. If you feel compelled to include additional information you think is vital, incorporate it in appendix.
A final word of caution: Avoid the urge to cover everything in the pitch deck. You don’t want to blast investors with information. You’ll have the option to punctuate important elements during your in-person presentation. For now, focus on captivating them with your idea.
What to Include in Your PowerPoint
You do need to talk strategy and numbers in your presentation. Spend enough time outlining how you’re going to market with your idea, and how it’ll generate revenue. Don’t go over financials in excess, though.
Communicate one idea per slide. Slides should contain clear and concise bullet points. Go for simplicity – you don’t want to force your investors to tune you out as they wade through wordy details on the screen.
Strategy for When You’re Having Trouble
It’s important to be able to identify early on if public speaking is not your strong suit. That’s ok. Just be sure you’re aware of it so you can take measures to deliver a powerful presentation.
It’s important that you convey confidence in your idea, not trepidation and hesitation. Address your nervousness head-on now, before you’re in the spotlight. You have several options, ranging from hiring a professional to practicing to having someone else on the team do the talking.
Do not, however, miss out on an opportunity to deliver a presentation because of fear. You have many alternatives at your disposal – practice using them, and consult a professional as needed.
Click here to download the free pitch deck checklist to help you prepare for your business plan presentation.