The Chicken. The Egg.

It is the all-too-common chicken-and egg dilemma suffered by startups: they know the importance of an effective presentation to attract investors (often because the current approach is not producing results), but don't feel they have the money to invest in one.

So much rides on a presentation. Months or years of work are focused into a few brief moments. One in about ten startups are lucky enough to get an audience and access to a funder's attention---an opportunity that would be foolhardy to squander. Yet so many do, failing to tell a story that rouses interest, informs, impresses and separates one startup from the other hundred or so thousand sure-fire ideas that emerge each month.

Even if you have an decent presentation doesn’t guarantee that a funder will like your technology or business plan. But if you don’t, or have one that is difficult to follow, chock-full of predictably ineffective slides, or is less-than-professional, you can almost certainly bet on not getting a call back.

It's sad that interest might have been aroused if the story had been clearer, more engaging, and better than the competition's. But your presentation¬–what you say and how you say it–will tell an investor as much about you and your bankability as about your technology or business projections.

Frugal entrepreneurs, worried about getting through the day financially, often balk at the cost to do it right and think they can squeak by, forgetting that a good presentation is more-often-than-not that one-time chance to ignite interest and convey enough to make an investor want to talk to you a little more. Sure, you only one chance to make a good first impression. But you have all-too-many opportunities to make a bad second one.

Sure, an effective strategy and presentation may cost a couple of dollars. But if you are seeking a hundred thousand, a half million, a million, or upwards of five million dollars, your return-on-that-investment could be 10,000-100,000% or more, quite a bit greater than the 0% you are guaranteed if you fail. But if you need further incentive, that same presentation (with a couple of small tweaks) will double as your marketing, sales, recruitment, and general information piece down the road.

Yes, it is the chicken and egg dilemma. But remember, too many really good eggs never get the chance to grow up to become chickens and many chickens never survive long enough to produce eggs.

© Copyright 2016. Chuck Goldstone. All Rights Reserved

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