Einstein’s statement is quite appropriate. ‘If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.’

Startup entrepreneurs often find themselves in knots when asked to make a power point presentation. What should it look like, how many slides should there be, what information are relevant etcetera: The truth is, there isn’t an absolute prefect scenario, but you can be close to being perfect.  Here are some clues for a near perfect presentation.

Whether you are presenting to any investor group; a VC, an Angel or a family office- the rules are quite similar. This applies to the first presentation where the motivation is to tell the story and provide information just enough to trigger a second and a more detailed presentation/meeting.

You can hold the attention span of any investor for 20 minutes, after that it starts to wander generally. Yes, we are better than the ill-focused goldfish. So, if you spend an average of 2 minutes on a slide, we should settle on 10 slides. Remember this is simply to present high-level information that will generate a second meeting. Therefore, use the slides as signposts.

Follow the KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid) principle.

  • Opening slide obviously should be the name of the company.
  • After that, directly mention the problem (pain point) and how you can solve it (solution).
  • What is your secret sauce. (value proposition).
  • How you plan to make money and your strategy towards it should be well articulated but succinctly. They are important slides, so spend time on perfecting it. It will expose your vision, strategy and leadership to the audience.
  • Then briefly state the current state of the business and any recent developments worth mentioning. Overview of financial projections, competitive landscape and management should round up the presentation along with the “ask”.

The presentation thus gives the audience enough understanding of your business and the value proposition for them to ask basic questions and offer suggestions. Hopefully it also piques their interest and moves the needle for them to propose a more detailed 2nd meeting.


Swatick Majumdar

The author is the Co- Founder of Survive and Thrive Today, a 3-day boot camp geared towards startups. http://surviveandthrivetoday.com.  He is also a Venture Partner at Digital Entertainment Ventures.

Twitter: @swatickmajumdar

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/swatickmajumdar

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