Just tell someone you are looking for investors and the advice will flow. Advice is so easy to give, even when it’s not backed up by experience in finding business funding. However, when it’s time to make a presentation to potential investors, some of the best advice you can find may not be where you expect to find it. Toastmasters International offers toasting tips that you can follow to get your presentation off on the right footing. That advice is to keep your presentation personal, customized, brief and earnest.
When looking for business investors, the first thing to understand is that you should not be desperate for the funding. Venture capitalists, angel investors and equity partners will not be fooled by an overly optimistic easy business funding and marketing plan and will quickly zero in on your desperation. Desperation does not set the right tone for a presentation and it seldom leads to funding. Desperation equates to risk and risk assessment is what investors are experts at completing.
The business proposal presentation begins with a personal approach. The personal aspect refers to the fact that you are the one developing a new business concept. You are the one who has the innovative idea and a plan for taking it to the marketplace. You are the one asking for business funding and looking for investors. Investors will be interested in the kind of person you are in terms of experience, background, knowledge and ability. You will have to show that you personally know the industry and the competitive market and that your talents can lead the business to success.
The business plan presentation should be on-target or brief. Keeping a business plan presentation brief requires pre-planning and organization. The investors will ask any questions that need answering, but in-depth study of the business plan will take place long after the presentation is over. That’s why you need to succinctly present the most convincing points during the presentation but insure the business plan covers essential topics in depth.
· The type of business
· Product design
· Market delineation
· Customer needs
· Competitive advantage
· 5 year operating plans
· Investor returns
· Investment collateral
· Financial statements
The presentation must be customized too in that it should specifically appeal to the type of investor you are approaching. This can take many different forms. For example, equity partners will be interested in the level of control they will have over business operations. Venture capitalists are usually considering large amounts of business funding, so business growth will be a major topic of interest. Angel investors may concentrate on risk if you are looking for startup funding or are in the early stages of business development.
Finally, your presentation should be earnest. Earnest in this situation means you are truthful, well prepared and always honest. This is the right time to demonstrate how the money coming from equity partners, angel investors or venture capitalists will lead to business growth.
There’s more you can learn from those who give expert toasts.
· Always practice the presentation until fully comfortable with it
· Use a confident tone of voice
· Convey confidence
· Avoid rambling
· Summarize important points