5 Pitfalls in PowerPoint Presentations for Investors

October 26th, 2011

A professional-looking PowerPoint Presentation is a key document in your financing package. So why do so many companies get the PowerPoint wrong?

Venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki memorably provided his own take on sub-standard PowerPoint pitches:

“As a venture capitalist, I have to listen to hundreds of entrepreneurs pitch their companies. Most of these pitches are crap: sixty slides about a “patent pending,” “first mover advantage,” “all we have to do is get 1% of the people in China to buy our product” startup. These pitches are so lousy that I’m losing my hearing, there’s a constant ringing in my ear, and every once in while the world starts spinning.”

Plenty of companies are guilty of common mistakes that are easily avoided. Here are a few:

  1. You have no story to tell. How is your new product or process going to change the world? Investors want to get excited about the next big thing.
  2. It’s not really clear what problem you’re solving. Help the investor understand a potential customer’s pain point – and how your company is going to deal with the pain.
  3. You aren’t clear about how you’re going to market your product. You may think your product is going to sell itself. It won’t. No product ever has. You need a marketing and sales strategy.
  4. You say you don’t have any competition. Two possibilities here. Maybe you haven’t researched your market well enough. The alternative is that there really is no current competition because no one would ever want to buy what you’re selling. Either way, this statement doesn’t look good for you.
  5. Your presentation is just too long. You don’t want to lay out every possible bit of information about your company that may or may not appeal to investors. Tell them what they need to know. If they’re interested, they’ll ask you questions – that’s your opportunity to show off your expertise and get their level of interest up even higher.

We help companies put together their PowerPoint Presentations as part of our Packaging & Road Show preparation services. This includes vital presentation coaching. To learn more please contact us.