Ready, Set, Go!
Your presentation starts before you say a word. The minute you enter the room, the angel investors are sizing you up. Your appearance needs to scream professional. Hair neatly cut and no ten o’clock shadow, nice hair-style and clean clothes and shoes. Pay attention to every grooming detail. And, if you have a theme you want to present that calls for wearing t-shirts with logos or any themed-type clothing–go for it! Just make sure everything you have on is clean and you are well-groomed.
Another item to consider is your scent. Some individuals who are sensitive to smells are turned-off by heavily scented cologne (men’s or women’s) or perfumes. Visit a department store cosmetic counter and have the retail clerk assist you in finding a clean-smelling but not heavy scent. You want to rub noses with these folks, not have them rubbing their noses because they can smell your overwhelming cologne a mile away.
What to Say
Basically, you want your presentation to angel investors to tell your story in a succinct, yet interesting manner. Your slides, your business plan and your financial statement are simply props to help you tell your story. Don’t focus just on the numbers or just on your product. Discuss the human side about:
- How you discovered your product or service
- What gave you the burning passion to pursue selling it
- What impact other business successes gave you the encouragement to pursue your dreams
- How you want to change the world
Anyone who hears the story of a woman who becomes a scientist to discover a cure for cancer because breast cancer took her young mother’s life, can’t help but be moved. Your story may not be as emotionally charged, but all human dramas are interesting. Search for the human interest in your story and paint that picture for your potential financial partners.
Prepare your presentation packets in advance. Make sure to:
- Have your slide presentation ready on your computer and test it to assure the file is not corrupted.
- Display five to ten interesting slides–these people are busy. Don’t bore them to tears with 30 or 50 slides.
- Pack any extra batteries, electrical cords or anything you need to run your laptop or equipment.
- Pack any pencils, pointers or any items you need for your presentation–practice your presentation using everything you need.
- Have copies of your business plan and net worth statement for each investor, and a minimum of five extra copies, just in case.
- Attach your business card with your contact information on the front of each business plan and financial statement.
Use slides that:
- Contain professional looking images
- Contain easy to read type
- Aren’t filled from top to bottom with text–use short statements or headings
- Display your product in a positive light
- Get to the point
Make sure when you give your presentation, you don’t stand in front of or obstruct your slides.
A well-written business plan spells your vision out to angel investors in-depth. They should be able to take your plan and literally see your business jump off the pages. Include your:
- Mission Statement -This should be a short one to two sentence statement of what your business will accomplish.
- Product Line - Detail what service or product you’ll sell.
- Marketing Plan - Provide specifics on how you will get your product noticed by your audience and define your target audience.
- Advertising Plan - Will you have a website? Run radio or television ads? How much does each cost? Define everything for your investors and tell them what you plan to execute.
- Financial Information - Don’t make investors guess. Detail the start-up funds you need and spell-out what those funds will purchase.
- Projected financial profit and loss statement - This outlines what you expect to make in the business and when you expect those funds to come in. Be realistic. Professional investors know it takes time and effort to get a new business off the ground.
Even though you’ve included every financial detail in your business plan, you also want to include a separate statement of your net worth. This is what helps banks decide whether or not to loan funds to start-ups or established businesses. Your financial statement is your assets minus your liabilities. This allows angel investors to size-up your finances at a glance. If you are a start-up, your personal assets such as your home, cars, computers, and other items purchased for use in the new business venture are examples of your assets. Your liabilities are bills you owe such as your mortgage or rent, utilities, furniture rental, any outstanding loans or money due on equipment or inventory for the new business. Bright Hub offers great tips on how to estimate an opening day balance sheet.
Show confidence. This is where you need to be like a bar of Ivory Soap. You can bring all the slides, plans and number crunch forms you want, but if you don’t display 100 percent of confidence to your potential investors, your other presentation props will be powerless to persuade. Attitude is everything. Put your passion on the line. This is your 40-yard touchdown pass. Give it all you’ve got.
Practice your presentation to angel Investors until you can practically recite it in your sleep. As a matter of fact, record yourself giving the presentation and run the tape or video just before going to bed every night for two weeks or more. Joseph Murphy, author of the classic The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, says if you can listen to a speech just before going to sleep, it seeps into your subconscious mind, making it much easier to recall. Judge the excitement level via your taped performance. Have someone watch you practice and offer tips. Don’t be afraid to pump up the volume. Angel investors typically know how to spot winners. They want the entrepreneur willing to go the distance to make his idea a success, because that’s what it takes.
- Murphy, Joseph, The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, Bantam, 2001
- Wood, Staci, “Ten Angel Investor Presentation Tips”, http://www.smbtrendwire.com/2008/10/04/ten-angel-investor-presentation-tips/