You Will Both Curse Me And Thank Me For This

I am about to make your work a little harder, but perhaps increase your chances of securing funding. You might curse me momentarily for the suggestion I am about to make, but you will be grateful later on when investors shower you with money, or at the very least return your emails, but let's see if you remember to pick up the telephone and thank me then.

If you are in the investment cycle, you already know you need some kind of a presentation, and chances are you (1) have one and know it is not as good as you need it to be, but (2) know it is no crappier than most of the others you have seen.

Likewise, you believe you need only this one presentation, and since it is all-about-you, you can pretty-much use it in any situation when anyone lets-you-talk-about-you.

What you may not realize is that you are, well, wrong, and having a single presentation for every pitch would be a little like owning, say, one pair of shoes, which you use for formal occasions, running marathons, mountaineering, and wading through snake-infested swamp water.

Savvy entrepreneurs know that a good investor presentation is not a one-size-fits-every-occasion tool, unless of course that occasion is "to fail."

You really need a number of different presentations, each responding to very specific opportunities.

  1. The Big-Pitch-You-Already-Know-You-Need
    This is the one we all assume we must have. However, to be effective, it must be flexible. A small tweak in a big presentation is sometimes just enough to align it precisely to a specific audience and to the style that will work best with your investors.

  2. The Very-Flexible-Brief-Overview
    Think of this as Pitch-Lite, a five-or-so minute presentation that hits the key points relevant to an audience, but in far less time than you swear you need. Your skill and savvy will be in your ability to choose what to include and what not to include.

  3. The Obligatory-Elevator-Pitch
    Most of the 30-second pitches we hear today are a useless waste of air and words. In their attempt to sound like what people think an elevator pitch should sound like, they are chock-full of meaningless cliché and jargon, trite phrases, and so much-ambiguity that they leave the audience still wondering what the company does and how 30 seconds has irretrievably been stolen from their lives. The purpose of a 30-second pitch is NOT to cram everything-you-do-and-everything-you-know into 60 words, but simply, to say just enough to (1) get someone to ask you a question and (2) allow you to talk to that person for more than 30 seconds sometime later.

  4. The Presentation-When-You-Cannot-Be-There
    You will be surprised the visibility you will enjoy with a freestanding presentation that does not need you, that can be viewed by investors at their convenience or that they can send to others. Providing a link to a well-produced, concise, high-impact presentation on YouTube or your website will pay benefits you can only imagine.

It will not take you four times longer to create four presentations. Each presentation is a variation on your core content and strategy.

Your investor presentation may be the most important communication you ever create. Every presentation, and I reiterate, every presentation communicates both information and your image, and sometimes the latter is more influential than the former. They have a name for companies that have already discovered this, and I think that name is "funded."

In this highly competitive environment, the ability to show the right presentation to your audience will increase your chances of getting a call back. It's worth the effort. I swear you'll thank me for this. Just don't call to do it during dinner.

© Copyright 2017. Chuck Goldstone. All Rights Reserved

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