Best Practices for Creating a Top-Notch Investment Presentation

Matt Preuss
Marketing Manager

Raising venture capital is difficult. On top of having a business or product that a VC finds “fundable,” you need to have a system in place to raise capital. This includes everything from identifying the right investors to pitching investors to nurturing investors.

Related Resource: How To Write the Perfect Investor Update (Tips and Templates)

Inevitably, you will have to present or pitch to investors over the course of a fundraise (typically using a pitch deck). To learn more about how to best pitch and present to your potential investors, check out our tips below:

What is the purpose of an investment presentation?

An investment presentation or pitch is a tool to help founders share their company story and vision with investors. An investor presentation is a visual representation of your company narrative and includes things like metrics, roadmaps, team members, etc.

Kristian Andersen of High Alpha breaks down how founders should think about crafting their pitch deck and story below:

Related Resource: Tips for Creating an Investor Pitch Deck

How long should an investment presentation be?

There is no exact answer when it comes to determining the length of your pitch deck. Different businesses and pitches will require different pitch decks, but we have found that as a rule of thumb founders should shoot for a pitch deck that is 12 slides or less.

We studied our own data from our pitch deck sharing tool and found that the average number of slides in a pitch deck (where 100% of slides were viewed) was 12.2 slides.

Related Resource: Pitch Deck 101: How Many Slides Should My Pitch Deck Have?

Many investors agree with somewhere between the 10 to 15 slide range as well. Alex Iskold of 2048 recommends a short pitch deck that should be 10 or fewer slides.

What your pitch deck should look like for your investment presentation

As we mentioned previously, every business is different. The needs for different slides and narratives will differ from business to business. However, there are a few slides that are typically used regardless of the business. Check out a few popular pitch deck slides below:

1) Discuss the company overview

First things first, clearly present your company and what you do. This should be easy to digest and understand for the investors you are pitching.

2) Present the problem

Use data, stories, or a compelling way to present the problem you are solving. Ideally, you’d like your audience to feel the problem or have a good grasp of others experiencing the problem.

3) Present your solution

Once investors understand the problem you are tackling, you need to lay out how your solution solves the problem. Make the case why you and your solution are the ones to solve the problem.

4) Highlight the target market

Next, lay out the target market and what your ideal customer looks like. This can help investors answer the “why now?” question.

5) Illustrate the market opportunity

At the end of the day, investors want to invest in companies that can turn into huge companies. Demonstrate the market and how it is (or has the opportunity) to become a large market.

6) Identify the competition

Investors will want to understand the space. Lay out your competitors and explain how you are different and better than them.

7) Showcase your product

Next, showcase the status of your product and future plans. Use data or customer stories to share how awesome your product is.

8) Share why your team is the one to solve the problem

Show your executive team members and share their relevant experience and skills so investors understand why your team is fit to execute the problem and the solution.

9) Explain your business model and marketing strategies

Investors want to know that your business has a clear plan and strategy to generate revenue. Clearly lay out your acquisition strategy and sales & marketing efforts to date so investors can understand how your business will attract and close new customers.

10) Present financial data and metrics

Of course, investors want to see the data and metrics behind your business. Lay out key financial and core metrics so investors know the status of your business.

Related Resource: Tips for Creating an Investor Pitch Deck

Qualities investors want to see

An investor’s job is to generate returns for their investors (limited partners, LPs). What investors look for in a potential investment will vary from firm to firm but we laid out a few of the common attributes investors want to see in a founder and their business below:

  • Large market
  • Clear customer acquisition strategy
  • Experienced team
  • Strong leadership
  • Traction and growth
  • Vision
  • Coachability

Of course, those are just a few of the traits investors will look for in a founder or startup. Different investors will place a different level of importance on different attributes. It is important to understand what an investor looks for in an investment and tailor your pitch to them.

Related Resource: Startup Metrics You Need to Monitor

Best practices for a top-notch investor presentation

As we’ve mentioned, different investors will look for different attributes in a presentation. However, most things investors look for can be boiled down to a few key areas. Below we lay out a few best practices for putting together a top-notch investor presentation.

Practice your pitch

This should go without saying but make sure you practice your pitch. You should know the ins and outs of your presentation and business. Of course, practicing in front of a mirror or friend can only go so far.

Some founders and investors recommend “ranking” your investors before approaching investors. E.g. Tier 1 investors are the best fit, Tier 3 are less of a fit for your business. If you rank your investors you’ll be able to spend some of your earliest pitches on “Tier 3” (or lower fit) investors to dial in your pitch and prepare for your pitches with better fit investors later on in your fundraise.

Related Resource: How to Pitch a Perfect Series B Round (With Deck Template)

Keep your message simple and clear

Investors see hundreds or thousands of pitches over a given year. Being able to clearly articulate your message and pitch is a surefire way to remove any confusion. By keeping your message simple and clear, you’ll remove any back-and-forth wasted on small details and be able to spend time on what matters most — having a conversation about your business.

Find ways to connect with the investors

At the end of the day, a founder is selling their company to potential investors. Like a good sales process, a good investor pitch starts by building a relationship and trust. When pitching potential investors, find ways to connect with them in advance of the pitch. This could be everything from following and interacting with them on Twitter to going to in-person events where they are present.

Highlight early successes and wins

Get potential investors excited about your business by sharing early successes and wins. This will get the presentation off on the right foot and allow everyone to build excitement around your business. Of course, try to back up your early successes and wins with data when possible.

Know your metrics

Inevitably, investors will want to dig into the metrics and data behind your business. For most investors, this is used to evaluate your business and could be considered the best predictor of success for your business.

However, metrics can also be a barometer for how well you know your business. You don’t need to remember every data point behind your business but need to know how different metrics are calculated and what causes any major fluctuations.

Include engaging visuals and graphics

An investor presentation is a tool used to pitch your business. In order to best engage with your audience, you should aim to have engaging visuals and graphics throughout your presentation. Of course, the underlying data is what is most important but having engaging and easy-to-understand visuals and graphics is a great way to support and improve your pitch.

Leave time for questions

The best pitches and presentations tend to be more conversational. You’ll want to balance feeding your investors with the material they need and also be able to have a constructive conversation about your business. By coming prepared, having a clear and simple presentation, and engaging with your investors beforehand is a surefire way to have a conversation about your business.

Communicate before your presentation

Investors need months of data and interactions to make a decision about a potential investment. In order to best help investors build conviction and have more meaningful conversations, make sure you are engaging with potential investors on a regular basis. This can be in the form of your monthly investor updates or sharing your pitch deck in advance before a meeting.

Related Resource: How To Write the Perfect Investor Update (Tips and Templates)

Sharing your pitch deck in advance of a meeting is a hot topic. Some investors will say you should and some will say the opposite. At the end of the day, it is important for you to feel out the investor and do what you believe is best for you and your business.

Related Resource: 18 Pitch Deck Examples for Any Startup

In-person vs remote investment presentations

Before 2020, investment presentations were generally in-person. However, since the way we work has shifted so have investment presentations. Investors are largely open to receiving pitches and making investment decisions via a remote presentation. Learn more about the pros and cons of both in-person and remote presentations below:

In-person presentation

Before 2020, in-person presentations were the go-to for investment presentations. In-person presentations come with both pros and cons. On the positive side, in-person presentations are typically a better way to build relationships and will make sure an investor’s time is undivided.

On the other hand, in-person presentations can be expensive (both financially and time-wise) for an early-stage startup founder that might not have the resources to travel across the country. This will likely limit the number of potential investors that a founder can meet with over the course of a fundraise.

Remote presentation

Remote presentations and investor pitches have risen in popularity since COVID. Many investors are becoming comfortable with investing in companies remotely and is largely accepted by most investors. Like in-person presentations, remote presentations come with their own unique set of pros and cons.

On the positive side, remote presentations allow founders to meet with more investors as it is more viable financially (and time-wise) to meet with investors remotely. On the flip side, some individuals might find that developing a relationship remotely is more difficult and can take more meetings and a different style of communication to build trust.

Share your pitch deck with Visible

With our suite of fundraising tools, you can easily find investors, share your pitch deck, and track your fundraising funnel. Learn more about our pitch deck sharing tool and give it a free try here.

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